Were there ever moments when you felt weightless? I doubt it, unless you experienced something so uplifting that you felt light as a feather, almost as if you could flow on air. Yet that is more emotional than physical sensation.
An invitation to defy gravity is an interesting one, and the idea of weightlessness on earth even more so. I came across a photo challenge saying “show us the effects of gravity in your photo this week”. What if trees were growing from the sky, rooted in the clouds? Before you think I’ve gone bonkers, there is a story about St. Francis that illustrates this. Two men came to St. Francis wanting to join his order. In order to test their suitability, St. Francis took them both into the garden and told them to do as he did. The saint took a cabbage and planted it upside down, with roots sticking out. The men pondered at first feeling a little confused, and then one took a cabbage and did exactly as St. Francis did, the other planted it in the opposite way, with roots rooted in the soil. He thought, “it won’t grow otherwise, if the roots are planted in the sky”. Which one do you think was accepted as a Franciscan? You may have guessed, the first one. Human wisdom is often not sufficient to lead us further into the kingdom of God. St. Francis was looking for those who will have their roots in heaven (not necessarily the sky). I think of this whenever I see trees upside down (to be frank, I don’t often do, unless I turn the photo around).
Are all my roots planted in heaven? No. It can mean that I don’t have a franciscan vocation, but it is also an invitation to ongoing conversion. I love trees and I am grateful we can enjoy their beauty through the seasons. We can learn from them about silence, inner life and rest (winter), about openness to new life (spring), about contentment while being our true self (summer) and about gratitude and letting go (autumn). And I am quite happy that trees grow as they do, from the earth up, reaching into the sky. Cause if they grew otherwise, we’d need to walk with our heads sticking down.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 17th January 2016)
Photo by © Iva Beranek
The Daily Post Photo Challenge – Weight(less)