Tree Pose

A few years ago I went to a Parks family reunion. There, plastered on the wall, was a huge family tree with names near the trunk of our ancestors, all the way from the 1800’s (maybe even 1700’s) and out to the tiniest branches of new babies.  As I gazed, amazed, I also felt a twinge of failure as I looked at my branch, which ended abruptly with my name.  Beside mine was my brother’s name with his spouse, branches full and blossoming with names of his children and grandchildren, continuing the Parks family name. To me it was a visible reminder of my failure to achieve the most basic of successes, marrying and bearing children.

One morning I came across this picture of a tree in all its glory with branches lush above the ground, but underground is another tree, just as lush and gorgeous.  That underground tree is called the root system. Without this vital root system to support the visible tree, to take in nourishment from rain and minerals in the soil of Mother Earth, the visible tree branches would not survive.


The tree goes through yearly and seasonal changes, sometimes green and full; sometimes popping with reds, oranges, and yellows for a time; sometimes barren of all leaves.  The root system, however, remains through the changing seasons, supporting and taking in nourishment.

Every morning I sit quietly and alone, praying for my family members, supporting and nourishing them underground, so they can grow and flourish to their highest and most glorious potential above ground.

When I do tree pose in yoga class, I teeter back and forth on one leg, arms raised worshipfully above my head in such a beautiful display of ancient Vrksasana, ever mindful that my pose could not stand without that leg supporting it. We don’t notice the leg, though. Many successful ventures noticeably flourish above ground, highly visible, talented, creative, and productive. Unseen, unnoticed, and underground remains the supportive root system of people working silently and continuously, just as beautiful and important as the tree above.

It is helpful to note, too, that sometimes we are the supportive root system, but sometimes we are the beautiful above the ground tree, full of succulent fruit, lavish leaves, and flowering branches.

Copyright 2017 Linda Parks. Used with permission.

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