12 Most Deep-Rooted Community Lessons from Aspen Trees
Nature delivers many lessons. Aspen trees do as well, telling an essential story for us and our communities. Aspens are wonderful in their beauty and many characteristics.
Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” A very true statement as we will see. So, here are the 12 most deeply-rooted community insights and lessons from aspen trees.
1. Don’t stand alone
Aspens stand as a community. You never see just one, as they grow in a group and are supported by their roots. Our communities should be connected more than just by our streets. While we have our separate living spaces, we should not be alone. Form a bond with your community; talk to your neighbors. We should strive to be connected and ensure no one is lonely.
2. Establish your roots
Aspens have connected roots. Through their rooted associations, growth is supported. In our mobile society, it may seem challenging or time-consuming to dig in to a community, yet we need to reach out to make the human connection. It is about establishing our roots, developing our communities, and growing with those around us.
3. Provide nourishment when needed
Through their root systems, aspens share nutrients to each other. Think of it as taking food over to a neighbor who may be going through a tough time or taking care of the kids next door when a parent is ill. It is about making the connections and delivering aid or advice when needed to keep all enlivened.
4. Reinvigorate your community roots
Aspen roots can remain dormant for years and then spring to life when the time is right. Our neighborhoods may seem inactive at times, yet they may just need someone to shake the foundation awake. It may be time to encourage our communities and let our hands and voices join to all within our reach. Trigger your community to sprout.
5. Care for others outside your immediate community
Aspens contain medicinal value, delivering an aspirin-like quality and a soothing salve through its bark. It is used by animals and humans. It is about delivering care beyond its immediate community. Similarly, we should look beyond our immediate neighborhoods and offer assistance to those who may be struggling or needing care. It is about extending our helping hand.
6. Seek and embrace diversity
Aspen communities have a mix of young and old. Both are needed in order to be more durable. One may lean on another from time to time. A community’s strength consists of different ages and points of view. Diversity adds perspective. Learn from the elderly; engage the young couples and individuals. All will grow stronger.
7. Embrace real hope
As mentioned earlier, the roots of aspens can remain dormant for years and then spring to life. Aspens survive. It is a great hope to all of our communities. It is the hope of resilience and revival.
8. Show your beauty in all seasons
Aspens are unique in many ways. In each season, they show a different quality. As holidays approach, we need to show the beauty of who we are by what we do. It can be simple things – inviting the uninvited, sharing a story, or giving where needed or unexpected. Let the beauty of your community be on full display.
9. Make some noise
Aspen leaves rustle at the slightest breeze, sending a whisper through the community. We should not always remain silent in our communities either. If we need help, we should ask. If something is not right, we should speak up. If something is done well, we should let others know and be thankful.
10. Feel at home, a sense of calm
Just as the whisper of Aspen trees can be heard, a whisper also delivers a message of calmness. We need to ensure our communities are a safe place as well as a place to feel calm and at home. Our communities should be place where we feel unbounded, free to be ourselves.
11. When trouble hits, rebuild community
When a fire hits a forest, aspens are some of the first trees to repopulate and replenish. We witness the same in our towns and cities. When disaster strikes, people come together and begin to rebuild. It takes time, but our sense of community is the first to be seen and experienced, as it should be. Adversity does not end a community; it restarts it and, possibly, strengthens it.
12. Be distinctive
Aspens have so many brilliant and almost magical qualities. It is what sets them apart from others. Each community in our cities, states, and countries has something that resonates. Take notice of the distinctive qualities of your communities and reinforce them. Make your community into something special.
Einstein was right; there are lessons to be learned from nature. We need to choose to listen, absorb, and use the lessons that are all around us. It is our community, and we can help it grow to a new level of beauty.
Featured image courtesy of Snap Man licensed via creative commons, some rights reserved.