The Peace of Winter Trees

I was delighted when I studied Chinese Five Element Theory and discovered that it includes a Fifth Element, Wood, one of whose functions is flexibility. In our busy urban lives it is an element to which we pay too little attention. Tree hugging — actual rather than philosophicall! — is really quite balancing for our health. It improves our spiritual and mental flexibility. Most of us can use that! (as for whether tree-hugging, philosophical, is virtuous, I invite you to discuss amongst yourselves… but I would, no great surprise to any of you, come down on the side of the trees.)

One of the joys of learning the five element theory was the need to suspend disbelief and learn something completely new. I compare it to learning the alphabet. If you spend your life trying to figure out why the would designate this symbol A as the letter A, you’ll miss the astonishing things that can happen when you break the code of reading. Here’s to learning new things and believing six impossible things before breakfast!

And of course here’s to trees and all the wonderful things they teach us, of which flexibility is only one!

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