As I was on a walk the other day, enjoying the cool winter air and a brief pause in a series of welcome rainstorms, I discovered a fallen acorn at the foot of an old oak tree along my path. I was so captivated by its polished husk that I knelt down to admire it for a moment and even took the accompanying photo. As I thought about the acorn’s nature, it occurred to me how fortunate I am to have the opportunities and choices that I’ve had—and continue to have, simply by virtue of the fact that I’m a human being.
After all, an acorn has no choice but to become an oak tree—and it has no choice in where it grows. It merely grows where it falls or is planted, or perhaps it may become a meal for a bird or a wild creature. There are so many more possibilities for us, and for these I am eternally grateful.
As I studied this mighty oak in its infancy, I realized that, in time, it would become buried deep beneath a protective blanket of leaves and forest debris and find itself deep within the life-giving womb of Mother Earth. There, this tiny expression of life—this idea, would begin to grow in the tiny space that was provided by its own shell. It would stretch itself, stubbornly push past the sheltered confines of its coat, nourish itself from the rich soil that surrounds it, and slowly make its way from the darkness to the light.
In order for us to grow, we must be as the acorn. We must push our way past our own comfortable confines. We must extend our roots deep into the wisdom of our past, just as we stretch our limbs ever higher towards the open sky and brilliant Light of our future. As we unfurl ourselves, branch by branch, leaf by leaf, and deed by deed, we create that which is the highest and truest expression of ourselves. But our growth and shape isn’t merely decided by the “blueprint” of our DNA or the whims of wind and weather. It is determined even more by our hopes, our wishes, and our dreams—for it is these expansive thoughts that create the space that is needed for our future to grow.
As I resumed my walk and left the acorn behind, resting upon its cradle of fallen leaves, I envisioned the grand oak it might one day become. I also imagined the person I might one day become and smiled—for in releasing my thoughts and positive intentions for our common future, I hoped I had created the very space we’d need for both our dreams to flourish and grow.
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