The Company Gardens in Cape Town is an oddly serene place.
In these gardens no one seems to be concerned with the next persons business in the garden … all are in their own space and time. Street people sleep on the benches in the shade of the trees, or wash in the water flowing beside the walk. Visitors to the city, locals at leisure or bustling along at business all intermingle and each to their own.
These gardens are a magical place, guarded over by an array of majestic plants and trees, including an avenue of tall and proud Oak trees, including one European Oak with a tap entrapped in the trunk of one of these matriarchs.
This garden was always a happy place. The plants loved being here and thrived, the trees were only too happy to grow here and spread their shade for the plants to thrive under, the squirrels to live in and the people of the city to meditate under. The gardener who lay out and tendered this garden understood all this and respected all his charges.
As the garden spread and the need for more water to nourish the plants grew, water was brought to the garden. The gardener asked one of the oak trees – the very one with the tap trapped in it – if he could fit a tap to it for the water to be drawn from the well.
The young oak had past memories of wide open spaces and a horizon it longed to see beyond. It loved the new life it had been given beyond that horizon. It loved the hustle and bustle of the people passing by; and the things it learned from them as they chit chatted about things happening in the city, and beyond the blue ocean and mountain that were now the limit if its view.
Only too happy to help keep the garden it agreed. As soon as the tap was fitted, that part of the tree gave all attention to keeping the tap in place – so all the tap need do was pass the water to the garden.
The rest of the tree kept being a tree, growing stronger and taller, adding ring by ring to its trunk year after year. And all the while the part of the tree holding the tap in place gave all its attention to this and nothing else.
Today people stop and look, marveling the wonder of nature.
Others stop and touch the tree … hoping to draw of its energy for themselves, or lovingly in recognition of the part it played in the gardens.
The tree feels none of this. In its advanced years it is reflecting on itself, no longer radiating the energy it once did. It is still tall and proud, grateful for its space in the garden and the city. It is troubled by its actions.
Did it do right in not adding its rings and only holding the tap? After all, the gardener had easily replaced the tap and life in the garden had gone on as always.
Surely everything had happened as it should. The tree is still big and strong. The garden is still a magical place. The plants are all still thriving.
How will this beautiful oak ever know if it “should” have done differently?
How will this beautiful oak ever know how much or little of its good intention and service led to the success of the gardens?
These are its conflicts.
As for the squirrels and plants and people bustling by – they are all grateful for the space to live in and under, for the shade it gives in the summer sun, the shelter from the winter rains and protection from the gusty south-easters.
Life goes on regardless.
Who knows what memories the tree will take with it.
The squirrels and plants and people will all remember it as they go about their day under the shade of a tall majestic tree in the garden, for as long as it is in their memories.
Time to let go all the concerns of past actions. Life goes on. What will be will be ….
I woke up with this story today (Wednesday, September 9th, 2015) and had to write it down.
I have just recently repaired my string of Rudraksha beads, which I had under my pillow while I slept.
Thank you to them and the oak tree, and all my angels for this message.