For some time now I have wanted a pendant with the Tree of Life on it. Why? I don’t know really. They just speak to me I guess. Anyway I developed a desire for one and I’ve been on the lookout for a nice one for some time.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago (when we were out and about with Son and DIL) cruising the main street of Mapleton, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, we wandered into a little store that had the most gorgeous lanterns hanging outside.
I had taken photos of them and so I figured that the shop might be worth looking around.
The store wasn’t very busy and our little group appeared to be the only customers in there. Seeing an opportunity, the store owner told us about the jewellery sale they were having. Not wishing to be rude, I went over to have a look. It was then that the Teen said “Mum, they’ve got a Tree of Life pendant”. Not wishing to miss an opportunity for a sale, the store owner whipped out every Tree of Life item she had in the display case for me to ooh and ahh over. Now, I had no intention of purchasing anything because let’s face it, a pendant is not up there on my list of necessities at this point in my life. So I made the appropriate noises, told her that I would think about it and went on my way (feeling really bad).
My DIL followed me out and asked me what exactly is the Tree of Life? I have always interpreted the tree as a metaphor for life with the roots stretching deep into the ground (although not all pendants show the roots) and the branches stretching out and well… branching in many directions. I identified with it on a primitive level I suppose.
I vowed to look it up and find out what it is all about at a later date.
Having looked it up, I can now say that it appears the early meaning of the Tree of Life is based on the tree in the Garden of Eden that bore the fruit of eternal life. Buddhists equate the tree with the bodhi tree that Buddha sat underneath whilst he achieved enlightenment. The ancient Iranians, Syrians, Egyptians and Chinese all have references to a Tree in their writings also. In fact many of the world’s religions and beliefs pay homage to a Tree of Life. Even Charles Darwin had something to say about it.
Whatever, the origins of the tree I prefer my interpretation of the tree as a metaphor for life:
We are grounded in our values/faith/beliefs/upbringing and so many other areas and we grow strong as we mature. Our life may branch in many directions as we grow but that is a sign of a healthy tree. We all have roots and we all have the ability to grow and prosper.
In a little twist on this, today I discovered that the tree outside my window here (you remember the one that had the chrysallis on it?) is my very own Tree of Life.
A couple of days ago, the chrysallis hatched but the butterflies still flock around the tree and flutter outside my window throughout the day.
When I came home from sewing this morning, the Garden Gnome said to me “Come and look at the tree”. I had already walked past it to walk in the front door, but he obviously had something to show me so I followed him outside once again where we counted 4 pretty, striped caterpillars on the leaves and found another chrysallis! I was so excited. Of course I got my camera out but until I am able to process my photos the way in which I like once again, you will have to imagine them. Of course, they might actually be cr*p photos once I download them but in your imagination they are obviously award winning. 😉
I am so excited! How wonderful is it to have my own little tree supporting the life cycle of another species right outside my window? I’d say that’s pretty awesome!
Remember the pendant I was telling you about earlier?
A couple of hours later, my son presented it to me as a gift as we said our goodbyes. I placed it on my chain alongside the heart locket given to me by the Garden Gnome. I always wear this locket and have done so for close on 20 years now. So now I wear gifts from the two men in my life around my neck!
I am so very blessed.