Posts Tagged 'Dreaming Tree'

The Dreaming Tree: A Reflection on Tu B’Shvat and Time

Louis Pasteur wisely said, “No one is more the stranger than himself <sic> at another time”. This seems accurate in that our experience of ourselves is perplexing. It also rings true in that our experience of time is often beyond our grasp.

I was thinking about this today is Tu B’Shvat, the New Year for the trees. This is a holiday that signals the start of spring in Israel. This is supposed to coincide with the budding of the first almond blossoms. While our frosty lunar based solar mash-up calendar might not totally align to the coming of spring, it is interesting to see how looking at trees shift our experience of time itself.

We all have that experience as children of counting the rings of a tree stump and being told that each ring represents another year of the tree’s lives. Like us the tree grows a little every year and it is hard to perceive. Shifting our focus to tree’s today push us to understand our perception of time.

I was thinking about this idea this morning when I woke up seeing The Dreaming Tree by Dave Matthews. What can I say he was the music of my teens? Here take a listen for Tu B’Shvat:

On a simple level it is a song about change, about the course of life, it’s about the world and it’s dangers when you are no longer a child with no worries, and about people who lose their sense of imagination as they grow old. There are a lot of things we take for granted in our lives, such as our childhood. In the song he says:

Below it he would sit
For hours at a time
Now progress takes away
What forever took to find

And now he’s falling hard
And feels the falling dark
How he longs to be
Beneath his dreaming tree

Some people treasure the things that are important in life, while other people take those same things for granted, not realizing what is truly valuable. The bystander didn’t really care about the tree it had no significance to him, but the old man treasured it for it reminded him of so many memories for him. The Dreaming Tree represents “a moment froze in time”. On today, Tu B’Shvat, we pause to see how trees help us experience time slower and in turn helps us treasure what matters most.


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