Friday, December 1, 2017

The Mean Banyan Knocked Me on My Butt

The Banyan Tree in Lahaina

While I was on sabbatical, I had an encounter with this Banyan tree.  The tree covers more than half an acre, takes up most of a city block, started as an eight foot sapling in 1873 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of  the first Protestant mission in Maui. 

It has flourished. The roots grow from the branches and descend down into the earth, establishing new trunks. But it is the same tree. It is over 60 feet tall with six main trunks and a canopy that provides shade in the mid-day heat and the home for hundreds of birds.

This reminds me of life. It may look like there are many different beings on our planet, but we all come from the same Source.

My adventure consisted of attempting to take  a shortcut under one of the large branches. The wood of the tree is very hard. I took off my sunglasses but left the hat on. I ducked down, thinking I had given myself plenty of room to miss the branch. I had not. I hit myself smack in the middle of my forehead. In fact, I hit so hard that I knocked myself right on my butt.

If it hadn't been real life, and if I hadn't been intimately involved, it would have been hilarious. It did remind me of an Abbott and Costello routine.

My travelling companion had no idea where I was. He had not seen any of it. In fact he had just texted me to see if I was climbing the banyan tree. I texted back yes I was. In fact one is not allowed to climb or sit on the tree at all.



A lovely man started running toward me, asking if I was alright. Only my pride had been damaged. (And a little bruise on my backside, but my head was not injured in the slightest.) I felt so foolish.  Now when someone says that I am being hard-headed, I can retort that they have no idea!

The man who tried to come to my rescue explained that it must be easy to misjudge this tree, since earlier in the afternoon he had seen a full grown man do the same thing and actually knocked himself unconscious.

I can take many life lessons from this incident. Some of them are:
  1. When you are knocked down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.
  2. Nothing happens to you, everything  happens by means of you.
  3. New ideas are taking root right now.
  4. What starts out small, can become enormous.
  5. There is no need to keep your hat on when attempting a dangerous activity.
  6. Even when you think you are alone, someone is there to lend a helping hand.
I am so grateful for everything I experienced and am ready to be back home where I belong.

I hope to see you soon at the Center.