The Big Bare Tree - Nudity and its Lessons

It was a long day today. An unplanned agenda unfolding itself to be experienced, as it came. Just like life. No following the rules, even if we do frame them articulately. It all comes with its own set of 'rules' or a lack of it, if it can be called so.

As I stood at the Court Circle with my friend, having laughed my wits end with her, munching on a piece of Kachori, my eyes caught sight of a big bare tree. No leaves. No green. Just the majestic tree, in all its splendid nudity. It was beautiful. And I kept thinking about it all along my way home. Pure beauty is infectious. And unmatchably heady.

Trees have always captured my imagination and attention. Not all of them, but only those, which stand there stretching their arms out far and wide, looking at the Providence with a spark in their eyes, their face being flushed with a calm smile, earnestly looking at God with an inner voice saying, "I trust you, God!", and yes, with no lush green hiding their true beings.

Trees. The mighty trees. Weathering the storms, the thunder and the rain, sheltering the birds from far and near, serving as a resting place for weary travellers. Trees. The mighty trees. Clothed in vibrant green, and in varied hues and shades of it, they look rich. They are indeed rich. Or, are they?

Today was spent in listening to stories. Stories of unfulfilled expectations. Stories of heart breaks. Stories of wretchedness, of self-pity, remorse, all amidst a thin ray of glimmering hope, courageously hoping against all odd hopes. Under a big leafy tree, with tufty sinews throwing out an aura of enigma and inimitability, we sat listening to each other, and to ourselves. Words. And the inimitable tree. "You hath no power to overpower me", said they. Youth echoed in the same sentiment. Or so it seemed.

But this Big Bare Tree, there was nothing tufty about it. Bare trees are never tufty. Never enigmatic. They are nude. What secrets can nudity have? They stand there proud and beautiful and graceful. Proud of having taken life by its collars every time it threatened to sway them away. Beautiful because of their purity and genuineness. No hiding behind the hustle-bustle of the rustling leaves. Leaving the leaves behind, standing tall with all their majesty. And graceful, for having accepted their smallness before Nature. Before the Sky. Before God.

I strongly feel that the Big Bare Trees can be our biggest teachers. Nudity is the best teacher. Because, it's the purest thing on Earth. No strings attached. No flares. No artifice. Plain creation exuding simple complexity. Nudity is never afraid of criticism. It's above it all. It's at the doorstep of God.

Many of us fret and fume about the people around us. The people we "love". We are always found "wanting" the people we "love". "I want him to call me everyday", "I want her to abide by my dictats", "I want her to understand me", "I want him to spend time with me", the "wants" and the supposedly inherent "love" drag on thus to eternity. Never open. Never nude. And hence, never pure.

The trees of almost all relationships are always found to be all flared up with the luscious green of desire, self-worth, self-esteem, ego, possessiveness, and what-not, thus hiding the rusty purity of soul underneath them. They never shed their leaves, quite contrary to Nature's rule, and thus start the pangs of hatred, jealousy, sorrow, grief, etc. Shedding the leaves. Shedding the clothing. Going bare. It is the Rule of Nature. No abiding it, and you are a gone case.

The Big Bare Trees. They aren't old. They are celebrating the vibrancy of autumn. They kiss the sky and embrace it with all their self, and they are afraid of nothing. No pretence. No shallow concerns or worries. It's just them reduced to their utter basic existence, and their conversation thus with God. Isn't it the essence of all our lives too? Radiating purity of existence?

Why are we always found "wanting" things? Is it always about "wanting"? Why can't we be The Big Bare Trees? With a Big Heart, showing the feelings Bare, no pretence? But yes, what is Bare can be perceived by some as dangerous. Well, it's not. If it is, it's not Bare. It has a clandestine cover of selfishness or some other vice. But it can never be Bare. When Bare things are nevertheless tagged 'weird' or 'unusual', which happens quite a lot of times in these times of narrowing comprehension of God, it's just our inability to understand that the Nature is toying around with variety, adding spice, trying to cut across the monotonous mundane. It may be different. We may term it 'unusual' or 'weird'. But what is, it just is. No tags attached.

Just like the Big Bare Trees. And just like us, the Big Bare Trees? Caring, helping, serving, and above everything else, believing, trusting, hoping and having faith? Tat tvam asi?


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