What Lies Beneath

Alan Marshall
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What Lies Beneath

The strength and resilience of any great tree is found in what we can’t see, what is below the ground rather than what is visible and obvious to the naked eye. What lies beneath is the key to the condition, the beauty and the productivity of what we identify and know to be that tree. The potential that is locked up in the unique DNA cannot be realised if the root system is in poor condition, or cannot find the necessary water and nutrients to supply the tree ‘above ground’. The growth and health of the tree that we see ‘above’ is directly proportionate to the health and growth of the tree that lies ‘beneath’.


The endurance and resilience of the tree is also dependant on the unseen world of the root system. The deeper the roots go the higher the tree can reach. The deeper the roots travel the longer the tree can endure difficult conditions. In fact, the tougher the conditions are above the ground the more activity starts going on beneath the ground. The roots push harder and deeper looking for water, for sustenance and nourishment. The tree that has its roots down deep can not only survive in tough times but can also start to thrive.


And that is just like us, we have a root system in our lives. Part of us that cannot be seen but has a critical impact on our lives at every level. Unfortunately, we are bombarded with messages in a world that is preoccupied with our outward appearances and how other people view us. But it is the strength of heart and soul that has the greatest influence on the health and well-being of our lives. And just like the tree when times are tough we can push our roots down deeper to find the nourishment and strength we need. The resilience to get up again when we feel knocked down, the strength to make good choices and the courage to deepen our values. Nelson Mandela said “Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”. Taking time to nourish our root system, our hidden world, is the greatest investment we can make.


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