They need water to survive, air to breathe, and sleep to thrive. They live long life cycles, season to season, year to year, intuitively adapting to their immediate environment in the best way they can. Trees and humans are more alike than anyone may think, and that includes having their very own birthday celebration – at least in the Jewish holiday tradition.
This past week was Tu B’Shevat, honored in the Jewish calendar as the birthday of the trees. It’s celebrated annually by planting trees, sharing abundant feasts of fresh produce, and also serves as a way to calculate how old the trees are.
While we might be surrounded by them, it’s easy to forget that trees are a crucial natural resource that humans need to survive, and should not be taken for granted. They not only provide humans with food and oxygen, but host a series of lessons that humans can learn on both spiritual and practical levels.
New plant studies are being launched and the findings are fascinating. The science of plant neurobiology aims to prove that humans and plants have more in common than we might think, especially in regard to our intuitive signaling and adaptive behavior.
Trees live with an intuitive understanding of their own cycles. Humans should too. Trees naturally maintain and sustain themselves based on their available resources. They “die” in the winter and blossom in the spring, and while they might appear “dead” from the outside, their inner system is processing and thriving. They must go through this inward process before they can branch out and blossom, and it proves the importance of developing the inner self, nourishing, and understanding the cycles of time, weather and world.
Humans also seem to “wilt” during winter months and regain energy when the seasonal sunshine returns. What we can learn from is the seasonal cycles and how trees require their needed time to rejuvenate themselves from within. Without this instinctive inner growth, their roots and foundation wouldn’t be as strong to survive another year. As humans, we can learn that life is simply a series of cycles which require us to adapt on both inner and outer levels. The more we can grasp this idea, the more we can connect, understand and flow within the cycles of life.
Scientists recently discovered that trees roots connect underground and support each other as part of an exponentially larger underground system. Trees do not compete for survival. It’s when they bridge their roots together, their environment grows stronger, sturdier and more secure for all. Imagine if humans focused on our own roots; instead of the size of our bark, the color of our leaves and where our seed was planted.