It is such an interesting concept. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I read this book as a child. It was so basic. Yet, the theme of the book is so powerful. It’s the story of an unwavering relationship between a self-maintaining force of energy and a boy who grows old.
If you’ve never had the chance to read the book, the boy in the book has a relationship with a tree like no other human relationship. It’s almost as if the earth birthed both the boy and the tree as mother and son. The boy relied on the tree for nourishment, a form of clothing, shade, and shelter. The tree gave the boy everything down to its own apples, leaves, and bark for the boy to later build a house. It wasn’t until the boy was ready that the story comes full circle. If you ever get a chance, read or re-read the book.
I am a mother of a very bouncy five year old boy. The tree reminds me of the type of mother that I feel I am, and the boy is similar to my son. His needs always come before my own. So, I feel like the tree. His concept of time is very interesting right now. He thinks we get taller, and then grow smaller. In a way, I guess we do.
In the Giving Tree, the tree is this huge force that the boy grows to rely on. He appreciates its branches and roots. He loves the apples cast from the tree’s leaves and picks them to sell in the City. The tree is happiest when the boy is around. The tree is mother earth who takes pride in being able to give the boy whatever he needs throughout his life. The tree gives and gives…and gives. But, the tree never cares how much is given. Only that the boy is near and happy.
Hearing this concept of growing big and then growing small is so interesting to me. Such a simple way to believe in the natural progressions of life. It’s almost as if we grow into these forces, and as we age, the force is passed onto something or someone else. We essentially grow out of the energy and pass it on.
Speaking generally, we are born and everyone is happy to hear of the new birth. A new life! This strange combustion of cells and atoms creates this beautiful new creature to take on the outside world. It’s as if the world begins anew every time a child is born. I never thought I would be able to create the most beautiful energy I have ever seen.
He grows. Milestone after milestone is accomplished and with them time passes. It’s almost as if we rush the time in order to reach the next milestone. It’s almost, as if the whole idea is to rush through it. I so dearly want time to slow down now that I am a mother. I so dearly want him to stay small. So, that I can stay tall. I love giving my son my leaves and shelter. I love showing him how each day is a new day. How each moment is a new moment. I love being his mother.
I understand things never go as planned. Life will always have hiccups and bumps. We will always be working against time. One can only hope to get through a long life, leaving behind a ring of loved ones and stories, to be shared and passed along as our last leaves are taken.