#ThursdayTreeLove | The Oak and a Lesson in Self-Healing

Oak Tree in City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2017

This was not a good week. I was ready to throw in the towel by Wednesday morning, but I got up, dressed, pushed through the rest of the week, and kept Philippians 4:13 on repeat.

I’m taking a mental health day tomorrow.

In the last couple of days, I was told twice–in so many words–that I was being negative. Me? The person who always finds the rainbow and gives [almost] everyone the benefit of the doubt? The individuals who commented were right. The heaviness of unexpressed grief, of holding it together, and of having to navigate all of life despite my feelings was seeping out in unpleasant ways.

Each time, I went back to my office and asked God for forgiveness and a little more of His grace. He didn’t give the scolding I deserved. Instead, He gave empathy, reminded me of my humanness, and affirmed my decision to take some time away from the usual maddening routine.

Normally, when I’m in an icky place internally, my camera and a slow walk with the trees work together to adjust my mood. Not so this week. I walked almost daily, spent time with the trees, looked for unique perspectives to photograph and…nothing. My mood was unchanged. I realized, sadly, considering the trees isn’t always an effective panacea.

Today is #ThursdayTreeLove and I was so sure I’d write a post about the lovely trees I’d considered all week. I’m not fond of the idea of sharing this week’s photos, so I decided to share some from a happier moment–photos from a walk through City Park in New Orleans with my mom, one of my older brothers, and my baby sister.

We captured loads of photos on that walk, but today, we’ll take a look at one of the gorgeous Oak Trees in the park:

My photos aren’t great, but I’m sharing them anyway because I love the structure of the tree, the network of branches, and the way the tree seems to reach across the park toward the other trees.

You can somewhat see the massive size of the tree if you note my “tiny” brother in the lower right corner of the photo.

Trees and buildings in the background are puny by comparison.

The 1300-acre City Park of New Orleans is home to 30,000 trees, and proudly boasts “the oldest grove of mature live oaks in the world, including the magnificent Anseman Oak and McDonogh Oak, which are between 750 and 900 years old” [See Trees in City Park].

My guys and I spent so much time in the Park when we lived in New Orleans that we captured hundreds of tree photos. We were (and still are) especially fond of the Oak Trees. The trees are simply breathtaking. One day, I’ll go through my collection and select a few to share on the blog. For now, enjoy a little extra #ThursdayTreeLove with a few more City Park Oak photos on my hubby’s blog. I think you’ll enjoy “The Root of It All.”

I read somewhere that trees are self-healing. I don’t remember all the details of the process, and I certainly don’t expect to do the healing work alone, but there’s wisdom in turning inward, taking care, and doing my part. I coped a bit better last week because I was intentional about spending some time daily, allowing myself to feel and write and think. I did none of that this week and it showed.

Moving forward, I’ll put into practice the lesson of the trees.

I am joining Parul Thakur every second and fourth Thursday for #ThursdayTreeLove. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link it back to her latest #treelove post.

32 thoughts on “#ThursdayTreeLove | The Oak and a Lesson in Self-Healing

  1. Sheila Marie Delgado says:

    Aw Chandra, sorry for your terrible, week. Sorry for your sadness. Praying for a better one to come.
    The trees are gorgeous. LOVE old trees, trees period. What a gift that park is. And so awesome that they are being protected. And the roots…. how cool is that. Roots.
    Sending hugs and prayers. If I could wrap your grief in a ball and put it on a shelf I would.
    Thinking of you,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cherryl says:

    Love those photographs – I hope things are better and brighter for you now, and moving forward – but I must say, I think labelling someone as ‘negative’ can be quite a manipulative thing to do to someone as we are now living in an age were ‘positive’ is cool and trendy. Nobody wants to be labeled as ‘negative’, as it goes against all the positive quotes that are hurled at us across social media these days.

    The reality is that there is both positive and negative energy/experiences/thoughts and feeling in the world and as humans we need to be able to express/acknowledge both in order to be balanced and healthy minded. In some cases, a seemingly negative person might benefit more from some support rather than finger pointing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trudy Den Hoed says:

    I’m sorry you’re struggling, Chandra Lynn. I hope you’re feeling more uplifted. I love trees, and your photos are awesome. It fascinates me how God creates each tree so uniquely. This one is so massive. I loved your husband’s root photos, too. Blessings and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      Trees are amazing! I spent some time with trees yesterday for much-needed tree therapy. I am much better this week. I know healing takes time and the grief of losing (yet another) sister to breast cancer will always be with me. Some days are better than others, but I’m grateful for trees and the quiet moments with God that get me through the tough spots.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Parul Thakur says:

    I loved your honest thoughts about mental health and that we all need to take some time for ourselves. Extremely important for our well being.
    I don’t think I have ever seen an Oak tree. Mostly in pictures and I would say on this blog hop. This city park that you shared about would be a place I would love to visit. It so so huge and it must be so quiet and beautiful around the tree. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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