When I write, I take inspiration from anywhere or anything, and this is the joy of non-conventional thinking. I talk to an America friend who offers many nuggets of wisdom and challenges me to stretch thinking past its current limitations. We discuss some of the pressures and problems that are present in the world. I expressed a lack of interest in the relentless scaremongering and saturated media coverage:

She replies “You can’t hide from it” “True” I reply “But I can also choose not to buy into the hype. I appreciate genuine issues are going on all the time, but I like to think that I ground myself in reality and act when there is something tangible. With new information and supposition, I consider ways to work through or deal with the issues, information or problems: Simply I internalise written words or vocal comment and then process accordingly.” 

My friend is determined to persuade me that difficulties must be addressed! The head in the sand approach will not make them go away. My counter-argument is based on the reasoning I choose how I invest my life hours and review potential scenarios. Concluding, there is no point investing the precious asset of time in anything that can have no definite conclusion. I can make choices about, work, family, friends and my future: It is impossible to assess the full implications or results of issues which have multi-faceted and diverse aspects.

Many thoughts are fleeting! And to form some clarity, my preference is to grab the dogs leads and head for the park. The healing aspects of trees and wildlife and nature always settle nervousness or apprehension. During contact with the power and energy of nature, my thoughts flow: I ask: where will you take me today? What pathway of view will be explored?

Well, my friends here we go again: Ian Timothy and I have enjoyed much time and thousands of words talking about daily life and spiritual matters. Usually, an article or podcast is the result of these engagements. Also, Ian has a magical habit of dropping a pebble of wisdom into my thought pond. And he watches as the ripples of ideas lead me to diverse conclusions. The latest has had a profound effect: He said:” Put twenty articles together, and we will make it into a book” Wow blown away is an understatement. Now amongst the excitement consideration must be made about the investment of effort that must go into this project. The secret to any investment is the return that you get from it, consider that any thoughts deeds or actions are all potential investments of your time and energy and as such must have a positive return. 

The idea is growing, alive and well! And I’ll quote one of my favourite eclectic thinkers Cus D’amato who was Mike Tyson’s trainer:

“A boy comes to me with a spark of interest, I feed the flash, and it becomes a flame. I feed the flame, and it becomes a fire. I feed the light, and it becomes a roaring blaze.

Ian sparked the idea: My task is now fanned until it becomes ablaze.

The problem with authors and writers is that people who publish often have deadlines to meet. I am fortunate I have no such pressures as my creativity is free-flowing and variable. I am now faced with a decision try and force an idea or wait for true inspiration to find an answer I walk into the woods. And no more than 800 metres into the park, I see that sign, it is relatively simple, just a crow in the tree but my feeling is there is more to discover.

The crow sits in a bare tree exposed to the elements, buffeted by the winds, its feathers being ruffled. I wonder about the crow’s purpose. Is it intent on collecting branches and twigs to build a nest and provide shelter against things to come? For a crow, times of difficulty or seemingly impossible odds have no real impact. It continues with its life, its nature, its purpose. The black corvid is focussed and follows its instinct. It is building a nest: The wind may blow, the elements may be against its objective, but I watch it follow its intuition. Collecting twigs, build the nest, line nest, provide shelter. 

The conclusion is, of course: In times of difficulty keep going, do what is natural, focus on the road or the goal ahead. Effort and perseverance will bring just reward in the short-term and the future.

I observed the crow for a while, marvelling at its tenacity. I then adjusted my focus to the tree. The tree by its sheer size led me to believe it had been there tens of years, probably a few human lifetimes, and it is well established, it deep-rooted and standing firm. It didn’t grow overnight and indeed hasn’t thrived without a test or two. 

It occurs to me people could relate to a tree, a goal or an inspirational thought could only become active if it is deeply planted. It can take a good while to grow and become established, given the right environment and nurturing it will grow to survive and thrive.

A further consideration is needed: a tree in whatever environment it is in will thrive. Whatever the season it follows its nature: this is the key to its survival. Winter letting go of its foliage, nurturing those around it preparing for the better times and the next cycle of change, it stands firm in difficult times, deep-rooted and within the moment of time or experience. In spring the tree sprouts greenery preparing for a new life while still supporting all that is around it. Its branches broken by winds and storms provide shelter for little animals and insects. Its growth prepares for better times ahead. Summer heralds the time where the tree comes into its own. Its beautiful foliage now demonstrates it is immense strength, just consider the weigh of thousands of leaves. Roots are deep in fertile ground. Now is the time for it to enjoy suns warmth and the magic of full bloom. It is following the patterns of nature. Soon autumn arrives, the tree growth slows, and the foliage dies if the tree thinks! It knows it will bloom once more as the season’s pass. Winter signifies the end of the cycle, the tree sleeps…

Today we have considered a crow and a tree. You’ll find them in all woodlands. The crow gathers materials to make the nest complete (the way). It knows how to build it strong enough to weather storms (the method); it achieves success because the nest will shelter new life (the purpose). It follows its nature, regardless of the harsh realities of a tough environment. It thrives because it doesn’t yield. The tree grows whatever circumstances surround it; it follows nature’s decree come what may. It adapts to the environment: a lightning flash could ruin its beauty forever, and it still grows. It durable and robust, and changes to its environment.

Do the tree and crow parallel the human condition? Not in every way: But there are significant lessons here. One experience is: it takes time to be in the place of your desires. And success is evasive without the extraordinary effort. 

Another consideration is long term outcomes: Does the tree continue to grow, or is it cut into logs or does it fall and decay going back to the earth? In any event, it contributes to its environment: as a food source, a shelter for animals, or even building a wooden house for humans. The crow demonstrates fortitude, consistent effort and following of nature. It is a scavenger, clearing the dead and decay. The crow is tough and to some ugly bird, and yet, it has a critical part to play in our lives!

YOU are like the crow and the tree you matter in your environment, and you do contribute despite challenges. Remember those who focus on completing tasks, keep evolving. Those who become flexible enough to ride with the changes nurture their hopes dreams, and aspirations enjoy success. People who consider every step and action prepares them for the next season of life become strong like the tree.

Life can be harsh so enjoy the summertime moments to grow and become healthy. Embrace fully, the hardships of winter moments remembering spring and new beginnings will always await. You are a uniquely talented individual who is priceless because there is nobody like you. Make a blueprint of what the best version of who you dearie to be, what you wish to achieve. And choose to shine, become a fantastic living, human being, be an inspiration.

Kind regards from my spirit to yours and your happiness are the reason for mine.

Rick Paul


  1. I offer this regarding scaremongering.

    We are only frightened by the unknown.

    Ask questions.

    Humanity is facing its greatest health challenge for a century. The very fabric of our society is coming under scrutiny. We have all become accustomed to having answers to most questions. Now society is faced with the unknown. We do not know the answers to many questions – some answers may be uncomfortable.

    Maybe things are not as bad as they are being made out – maybe they are worse.

    Ask questions.

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