While I was visiting Glasgow a while back, I walked through Kelvingrove Park on my way to Glasgow Vineyard Church. Because of a silly mistake I was rushing to get there in time. Sometimes, though, while I walk, I feel like there’s something I need to pay attention to. Something that’s more important than the meeting or thing that’s preoccupying my mind.
That’s when I noticed a fir tree. It looked incredibly beautiful and green, with some sort of green berries at the tips of it’s leaves. So full and lush, at first sight. It drew me closer. But then, as I got closer, I noticed that it was only the outside that was green. The inside was leaflessy brown. No sunlight could penetrate the thick layer of leafs shielding its inside.
I continued walking and noticed a chestnut tree. Its branches were wide open, like arms stretched to greet an old friend. Leaves were sprouting and growing all over the branches. It was a tree full of life, thanks to the sunlight that was streaming in. The open spaces were essential for the light to reach the whole tree, not just the outer few leaves.
Not every chestnut is equally open. Some are so wide that you can easily see all its branches and leaves, even from a distance. Others require you to come a bit closer, but will then reveal everything to you. The fir tree, however, stays closed. It doesn’t let anyone penetrate its outer layer. No light is allowed to shine on its innermost being. Because who knows what’s hiding there?
If you are like the fir tree, you should know it’s okay to be like a chestnut. It’s okay to trust people, to let the light in. To open up to love and be nourished in the process. It can feel scary at times, but life is so much nicer as a chestnut. After all, who doesn’t want to be the one to provide fruits that can be roasted on an open fire?