Biology Of The Tree And Lessons To Learn… BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Opinion

The tree constantly grows in two directions. The Root and the Shoot. When a seed falls to the ground, the roots begin to grow downward in the direction of gravity, which is referred to as ‘gravitropism’ (a plant’s ability to change its growth in response to gravity). And the shoot also later grows upward away from gravity, towards light to form branches. This upward growth towards the direction of light is referred to as ‘Phototropism’ (the ability of plants to change their shoot growth towards the direction of a light source.) Phototropism helps plants to optimize photosynthesis.

When a seed falls to the ground, the seed goes through a process and conditions. It is mostly dark underground. It is damp underground. But it is under those harsh and adverse conditions that the seed must decay and germinate, then first grow the roots underground and later shoot out to grow into branches. The roots must persevere and pierce through the soil particles and fiercely navigate their way to source nutrients to build a formidable foundation for the shoot that the tree will carry. The future and sustainability of the shoot that grows from every seed is dependent on the pain the root went through in the dark under the ground.

There are lessons to take home. Like the roots of a tree, the work that we must do in the dark when no one sees us, the work that we must do underground when conditions are damp and blurred, the patience we must exercise to break the ground, and the silence and comportment we must maintain while that work is ongoing, are actually what will determine whether the shoot will grow or not.

What we see as flourishing branches in the lives of most people today is the result of the stamina their roots built silently in the dark when no one was taking notice. Many are still underground right now toiling like the roots of a tree and expecting their shoots to blossom soon. It was one famous poet, writer, and iconic cultural figure of 19th century America, Sir Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who reminded us that “Heights attained by great men, were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while others slept, were busy toiling upward through the night.”

Our nights and dark moments when it seems like we can’t see anything, are very important moments in our lives. Those moments when we are literally buried underground. Those dark spots where you don’t know what is ahead. Those clumsy moments when your head is full and you say you have had enough. When you are under and left alone, like the roots of a tree; rely on the direction of gravity. As gravity is to the root, so is God on your path. As the direction of gravity gravitates with the roots into blossoming shoots, so will the God in your journey guide you into a brighter day. In the dark, when you can’t see your way, place your hands on his arm, close your eyes, and trust that he will guide you while you keep trying.

Yours sincerely, 

Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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