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Under the "Socal" Tree

Ok, so it’s not a real Bodhi tree, which the Buddha sat under. It is definitely not a banyan tree, nor anything close to a lotus in a pond.

It is the tree of Socal (I failed to research the true name of its species because it doesn’t matter :P :P ).

That’s right, it’s the tree, which gives us shade on a very hot 95 degree day in Southern California. It's the tree who's branches sway with the 80s tunes in the nearby motor shop.

It’s the tree we sit under with a coffee for a 10 minute break from our 9 to 5 job. Call it ten minutes of enlightenment or a mere chance to breath from the resounding calls of repetitive work. The branches hover over me like a hippie’s shaggy hair while saying,“Hey dudette, it’s time to chill.”

During break time, I realized that trees are just like humans. We all have the urge to fly like birds, but gravity instead pulls us down to reality. Trees remind me, however, to rise above this human condition. Check out this poem I wrote:

The Humble Tree

- Written by Rohini Chandra

This tree once thought,

I’m planted near walls

Not in a green forest

Like my fellow species

Nor was I cut down.

Born into cement,

I was left to live.

With a few survivors

In sheer hope

Of growing elsewhere.

Stuck in one spot, he said

Certainly, this is a trap

I have gratitude,

But not the longitude

To run wild and free .

Grounded and rooted into soil,

I’ve been through so much

Through the brush fire and

Sun scorching my skin

My bark is now edged .

So I mark this my territory

I won't go running

Only shunning

The very rules of freedom

In martyrdom for turf.

Sometimes we are misplaced,

Just waiting to be found.

So, I drink water from my roots

And grow my limbs

Outwards, defying gravity

Becoming an earnest abode

For all moving things.

Let sacrifice make happiness,

Wherever I may be.

Let my limbs be my mind.

Conspiring my present,

My future.

My deep roots ground me

Through peaceful growth.

I am a stalwart of my species

Sharing leaves of wisdom

With digital travelers...

© 2018 Rohini Chandra,

interesting side note...

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