If you haven't met my mom, or don't know my mom very well you may not know that she's a storyteller. And a very good one I might add. This is nothing new for me, however, who has had the opportunity to listen to and learn from and be entertained by her stories for many years.
When I was younger I can remember on long car rides (which probably weren't really all that long, but felt long to me) sitting in the backseat and saying "Mom, tell me a story!" and she would. Right there in the car. And not just any stories, but ones that she would make up on the spot. Even today it strikes me as rather impressive. I'm not sure I could be that creative on the spot.
Well, recently one of the stories I remember her telling me has been brought back to the forefront of my mind and been retelling itself in my head for the past few weeks. This weekend I asked her to remind me exactly how the story went and will now do my best to relate it to whoever is reading this, because I for one think it's pretty relevant.
So here it goes: The Stubborn Little Tree
There once was a stubborn little tree who stood in the middle of a great wood. He was much more than a sappling, but much smaller than a Great Oak. He was surrounded by much older and much wiser trees, and would converse with them throughout the his days in the wood.
As the weather got colder, and the days became shorter the stubborn little tree began to notice all of the older and wiser trees beginning to let go of their leaves. He, however, loved his leaves. Their color had turned golden and they were extremely beautiful. There would be no way he would be letting them go.
"You must let go your leaves!" Said one of the older trees one afternoon. But still the stubborn little tree did not listen. Whose right was it to tell him what to do anyway?
For days the stubborn little tree clung to all of his leaves with all of the surrounding older and wiser trees advising him to "Let go your leaves!" claiming that it was "all for the best."
Then, one day, a stiff wind came. It beat against the stubborn little tree, bending it back and forth and side to side. All the while it just blew past all of the other trees without difficulty for there were no leaves on their branches. "You must let go your leaves!" cautioned one of the older and wiser trees once the wind had gone.
And so with a great amount of effort, for he really did love his leaves, the stubborn little tree gave a great shake and many of his leaves fell to the woodland floor. Yet he clung stubbornly to a majority of his leaves. "Really, you must let go your leaves!" said all of the wiser trees, but still the stubborn little tree did not listen.
Again a stiff wind came, this time giving the stubborn little tree no choice but to let go of a few more of his leaves. And although all of the other trees advised him to drop the rest, he refused.
Finally, one morning after a long, cold night, the stubborn little tree awoke to a blanket of snow. The whole wood looked as though someone had come along and covered it in powdered sugar. The other trees, however, awoke to a terrible noise and a loud long cry. For one of the top most branches of the stubborn little tree had snapped under the extra weight of the snow on top of all of the leaves it was still clinging too and the stubborn little tree had let out a long cry of pain.
As the stubborn little tree stood there the oldest and wisest tree whispered "Let go your leaves" and finally, the stubborn little tree listened, and let go all of it's leaves. Then he, along with all of the other trees in the wood, went to sleep for the winter.
In the spring the stubborn little tree awoke, and felt a very strange sensation toward the top of his branches. He looked up to see new shoots growing up out of the place where his branch had broken in the winter, and was also delighted to see that he was beginning to be covered in a whole new set of green leaves.
"You see," said one of the older and wiser trees, smiling down upon the stubborn littel tree, "in order to have new growth, ,you must be willing to part with the old."
The stubborn little tree was not so stubborn any more.
Ok, so I probably just butchered that story for you all, but you get the point, right? You should probably just come to my house and ask my mom to tell it to you in person. But there was a stubborn little tree who refused to let go of his leaves and paid the consequences for it, but then got wiser.
I love this story. And the fact that my mom made up such a great story with a really great lesson in it on a moments notice just because I was bored way back when.
This story really resonates with me. Mainly because I'm more or less that stubborn little tree. I really dread change, and it takes me a while to just go ahead and take the advice of those older and wiser than myself. I always seem to need a stiff wind or two to nudge me in the right direction. And I've even had my share of broken branches when I've proved to be too stubborn for my own good.
Yet at the moment I'm looking forward to all of the changes I see coming or already in place in my life. A new apartment, a new roommate, a new job. New friends and aquaintences and new opportunities for growth. I guess there's just been a lot of change going on in my life at the moment and the most relateable way to share it was through the story of the stubborn little tree.
So, there you go, a new story to tell next time you have a whiney kid in your backseat who needs to be distracted :)