Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Tree's Story

On a recent trip to Sarasota, Florida, I visited Selby Gardens and met this tree. It is a beautiful tree but became even more special when I read the sign beneath it.

Tree of Enlightenment
"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it."
-- The Buddha

The bo tree is beloved by Hindus and Buddhists who believe that the Buddha meditated under one for years until he attained enlightenment. Selby Gardens' bo tree is much-loved as well. Countless couples have married to the music of its leaves rustling in the breeze.

On September 14, 2001, Tropical Storm Gabrielle struck the Sarasota coast. Thousands of trees were destroyed. Our bo tree, completely uprooted, was one of the casualties.

But love--with the help of technology--conquered all. Arborists quickly pruned the tree's canopy by 30 percent to reduce its weight and moisture loss through transpiration. Meanwhile a barge, equipped with a 50-foot crane, chugged into place at high tide. Cables were looped around five of the tree's large branches and the crane gently tugged for 90 minutes until the tree was upright. Soil was packed around the root system to support it. Tended with care and water, the tree showed signs of new growth in six weeks-time.

"I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act."
-- The Buddha


  1. Wonderful to read a post today that contains good news.

    There is an enormous tree on the Edison estate in Ft. Myers. Have you seen it? If I recall correctly, it's a banyan tree and hanging from it are these plants that look like sausages. Since seeing it for the first time many, many years ago, I've always carried in my head a rather poetic image of it.

  2. Ah, the images of trees we carry in our heads. In Vancouver, there is a tree in a park on the north shore called the Dove Tree. Tiny white blossoms, like doves in flight adorn its leaves.

    Years ago, I wrote a story for my daughters about the Windstory Tree -- A tree that stood through time. A tree of many branches collecting the stories the wind blew through it. A young boy and girl climb into its branches and are transported back in time to meet famous people from history.

    Trees are magical.

    Thanks for the magic today Joyce.

    I am grateful for it and you!