Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Oak inside the Acorn

Ever see something that took you back to a moment in childhood? 

The other day I was walking along a little street in Battery Point, 
and I saw this grand old oak tree with piles of little acorns at its feet.   

I had to stop.


As I knelt down, collecting a handful of the little treasures, 
I had an instant flashback to a distant memory...

My school bus would stop each day outside an old nursing home, 
and I would come to spend time there almost every day of my childhood.

There was a lovely older girl who used to wait with me,
and together we would explore the seasons, 
as we waited together under the giant oak tree.

I remember the feeling of excitement as I gathered 
as many acorns as could fit in my little hands.  

Just to feel, and to look at.  
(Maybe pop a couple in my pocket for my mother to find when she did the washing!)

These days I suspect my adult hands could hold a few more.

It's amazing how things in life change, and some things stay the same. 

My hands are bigger, and I now have my own children; 
(and there are frequently random 'treasures' in their pockets 
to be retrieved before putting that load of washing on!) 

Yet seasons are constant, and Autumn leaves fall at the same time every year, 
decorating the ground in their glorious reds and browns -
as majestic and vivid as ever... 

...and this particular Autumn day, 
they brought back my childhood in the same way.

Not sure what it is about Acorns that thrills and fascinates me so!?

In recent years, I've grown to love this beautiful story,  
The Oak inside the Acorn
by Max Lucado, (illustrated by George Angelini).   
I love reading it to my chidlren...

It's about growing up, from childhood to adulthood, 
and eventually finding and taking your place in the world.  

"The world looks so big," the little acorn said to his mother. 
"I'm just glad to be right here with you." 
His mother was a tall, beautiful oak tree.

"I'm glad, too, my little acorn. It's good for you to be here with me now. 
But when your time comes to go into the world, you'll be fine."

 "I'll be afraid." 

Mother Oak hugged little Acorn in her strong branches.

"Within you is a great oak, Little Acorn.  
Just be the tree God made you to be."

 * * *

Ahhh... the comfort in your mother's hug! 
(No expiry date... Mum-hugs are still as nourishing to me now as ever!)
And what a beautiful sentiment in just being the tree God made me to be.
No point envying the apple tree, or wanting oranges to grow like the tree next to you.
Just be you.  Glorious you. 
Find your place, and stand strong.
Be the tree you were meant to be!

...with a bit of child-like wonder thrown in for good measure!