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The Courage Tree

 

As the wind blows in the bending of the trees
The forest is bellowing words gracefully
Echoing high above the majestic canopy
I hear the words calling and reaching for me


“Take courage” are the words echoing high -
These words ring out through the blue stained sky


But I stumble in the forest, I cannot hear the words
The words have been stolen, swallowed by the birds
Abstract utterances, the words are all  s  l  u  r r  e  d
I want to hear the message, I must not be deterred

The forest is closing in - it’s dark, damp and cold
I climb a tree for security but cannot get a foothold
The trunk of the tree is hollow and I am not consoled
I fall to the ground afraid then into myself enfold

I remember the days when the forest was my friend
A community of trees with rows that never end
When I shimmied up towering trees, quickly I’d ascend
Into a myriad of branches, swing freely and suspend


“Take courage” are the words echoing high-
These words ring out through the blue stained sky


The forest was my life and my life to explore
The resplendent canopy, the thriving forest floor
The forest was adventure alluring me for more
Calling me to work and play, to blissfully explore

Then one day in the trees, I slipped spectacularly!
I tumbled down and down - a big catastrophe!
I thumped upon the ground and it was plain to see
That I was now injured, really quite painfully!

Why should I climb trees if I could fall again?
And so I befriended Risk instead of my friend Zen
I would reach out for a branch but doubt I could depend
So I’d tussle with the trees, with my worries I’d contend


“Take courage” are the words echoing high-
These words ring out through the blue stained sky


Sycamores, Junipers, Oaks and Gums
Surely I could climb just another…one?
Cautiously I climbed, this was feeling fun
Until the branch gave way and I became undone

I resented the forest deeply, she became my nemesis
So many times I cried out: “I just want to end this!”
Arms all scratched up, I’d raise my furious fists
Instead of life in the forest, I fell into the abyss

Under a tree I rested for years by a trickling creek
Where the trickles of water would often speak
Into my soul which was empty and weak
In the presence of the trees that swayed and creaked


“Take courage” are the words echoing high -
These words ring out through the blue stained sky


I regained strength and then I went searching
My eyes lifted up to the birds that were perching
In the bough of the trees that had left me lurching
Bleeding and broken in need of nurturing

The blue sky lit up with the words ‘take courage'
So in search of courage, through the forest I foraged
When I trusted the forest I felt hopeful, encouraged
I returned to the forest, I no longer disparaged

I climbed again but fell and then She called…
“You can’t fly unless you let yourself fall.”
So high up in the trees I quietly crawled
Trusting the forest I radiantly soared


“Take courage” are the words echoing high-
These words ring out through the blue stained sky


Life is for living, we fall and we fly
But courage crowns those who bravely try.

 

Natalie is passionate about human rights issues, matters of the mind and interfaith insights. When not in deep thought, Natalie loves to travel, drink good coffee and keep fit where she resides on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.


See all previous articles by Natalie Alexander

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