The oak tree in our back yard is now naked against the the glare of the November sun. You would think it would want its shawl of leaves to protect its rough hide from the coming snow and ice. During the summer, leaves collect the sun’s energy for the oak to grow and thrive and toss acorns; doesn’t it need a little golden blankie to stay warm during those long January nights? It’s odd that the harsher the weather becomes, the more the oak strips itself until by the time of the first snows, only a tuft of brittle brown leaves remains to flutter from a twig.
I suppose there is something to be learned about vulnerability here. The more you stand naked, the less you have to defend. If I remove my clothes, there is nothing left to take.
But who wants to stand around naked? This is what trees do to survive. They draw their life energy into their core and plunge it into safety until the signal comes in spring that it is safe to flow once again. Perhaps that is part of the paradox of vulnerability too~that you are not really standing naked at all but hunkered down around the fires of your own essence to wait through the storms of winter and, hopefully, bloom again next spring.