I’ve written before about this powerful phrase from Rilke, and had the chance to share it with some dear friends from Wellesley this week.
If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence,
We could rise up rooted, like trees.
We often think of rising and recovery as gravity-defying: bouncing back, or leaping forward. What would it look like if we rose up without jumping? If we rose up, rooted?
One clue comes from redwood trees, whose strength is based not on their solitary roots, but on the way they intertwine with others. The bad news is, each tree’s roots are just about six feet deep, not nearly enough to support several hundred feet of above-ground growth. The good news is, these shallow roots are woven together with those from all the other trees, forming a huge web of mutual support.
When they’re connected, these trees are among the strongest organisms on the planet.
The connection crosses generations: when a mother tree within that forest web falls, new sprouts emerge from the same roots, forming a big circle of redwoods called a Fairy Ring.
And what do we call a Fairy Ring once it matures?
Dear Honeybees, I wish you roots that run deep and wide. And even more than that, I wish you a whole forest of community, so that your strength is multiplied manyfold, across both time and space.