I have become infatuated with oak trees over the years. I can remember a bad hurricane, growing up, and begging my parents to drive me to the “church with the big tree” (the Cathedral) to see if the tree had survived the storm.
Now working at the Cathedral, I have a whole new appreciation. You see, the whole reason that the Cathedral of St. John is located where it is is because of that tree. Two hundred years ago, settlers discovered this land with an oak tree on it. They realized that if the tree was able to sustain the elements of weather, then so could a church. The building has taken on many forms over the years and is currently on its 4th building. But that tree has remained. All because of a little acorn. A Cathedral takes over the downtown skyline, which has housed thousands of families. A school that has educated thousands of minds. All because of a little acorn. An acorn that took root and changed our city.
In my adulthood, I have had debilitating anxiety. Between a horrendous miscarriage that took place at home and the loss of an infant to SIDS, adulthood has been a lot. I have gone to therapy a few times, and one of the times I was encouraged to garden more, only do it barefoot. This sounded a bit farfetched to me, and I decided to share it with my sister. She is an E7 in the Army and is very experienced with soldiers with PTSD. Apparently, this “rooting” technique is encouraged within her soldiers as well. The heat leaves your body through your feet and is pulled into the soil.
Another pastime that helps settle my anxiety, is reading to my kids. One of our favorite books is “We are the Gardeners” by Joanna Gaines. I mean, who doesn’t love JoGaines?? In that book, there is a line that stays with me each time I read it: “In the garden, there is no life without light” and such as life too. There is a certain joy that arises within me, when I step outside and the sun shines down, full force, upon me.