“Let us not look at ourselves but onwards, onwards to the ideal life of man, and take strength from the leaf and the signs of the field. Let us labor to make the heart grow larger as we become older, as the spreading oak gives more shelter.” ~ Richard Jeffries, Nature Thoughts …
I thoroughly enjoy the comparison Richard makes here–when I think of a small oak tree, and imagine all the birds, squirrels, and animals that create a home in it, and then visualize it growing and expanding over the years–it is exactly how I wish to grow older myself. I want to be able to have a large heart. I want to have something to give to others–to be able to contribute positively to the world around me. I want others to see how much I have grown and developed from all I have been through in life–to recognize my potential as someone who provides for those around him–and then benefit from all that I provide.
Physically, the human heart is the core of life. Beating nearly 2 billion times throughout our lifetime, the heart pumps more than 1 million barrels of life-sustaining blood to our organs and tissues. Without it, we as humans cannot stay alive. And metaphysically, it is the core of our beings, our souls. All of our words and actions are manifestations of what is in our hearts. If we think or feel good thoughts, we are then able to turn them into positive actions and attitudes. But if we think or feel evil thoughts, we are apt to act accordingly.
If we wish to work towards making this world a better place… we should do so by making our “heart grow larger as we become older.” In doing so we will find we become more loving and compassionate, helping others just as a giant oak provides shade from the sun, shelter from the rain and storms, and comfort for rest during flight. We will increase our ability to provide positively to the world around us.
Take a moment today to provide for the needs of another.
Questions to consider:
What kind of labor can we pursue to make our hearts grow?
What are some benefits of providing shelter for others?
Imagine yourself as an oak–which people would you most want to shelter? Why?
For further thought:
From this day forward,
You shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter,
And my arms will be your home.