LESSON OF THE Oak
from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford
The oak represents courage and endurance and the protective power of faith. The tree's noble presence and nurturing habit reassured ancient peoples that, with the good will of their gods, their leader, and their warriors, they could prevail against all odds. As the Tree of the Dagda, the oak offers protection and hospitality without question, although its true rewards are only apparent to the honest and brave. The ancient Celts deplored lies and cowardice. To be judged mean spirited could result in exclusion from the clan, which was one of the most shameful and most feared of all possible punishments. Like the oak, we would do well to receive without prejudice all those who seek our help, sharing what we have without resentment or reservation. The oak reminds us all that the strength to prevail, come what may, lies in an open mind and a generous spirit. Inflexibility, however, is the oak's one weakness and the tree is prone to lose limbs in storms. The oak therefore carries the warning that stubborn strength that resists will not endure and may break under strain.
Every house has a front door.
If you wish to enter, the door must be approached and your presence made known. The door may then be opened. The very word "door" comes from the Gaelic and Sanskrit "duir" - a word for solidity, protection and the Oak tree. In the essential forest, the Oak is King. He stands mightily solid with great branches, matched only by still greater roots. He is often struck by lightning. The force of the strike and the heat bursts the sap and stem apart leaving the trunk gnarled and withered. Yet he still manages to survive, over the years, decades and centuries. His growth is slow but sure. His children grow into magnificent replicas of himself and he is a marker point, a cornerstone and a refuge in the forest.