I had one of those weeks where I felt like I was grappling for a moment of peace and there wasn’t one free for the taking. Under the weather and yet working until 8 p.m. each night dealing with a flood of news – including the sombre and irritating headlines coming out of Egypt with the second anniversary of the Jan. 25 popular revolt – it was tough to find a tranquil moment to pause.
Perhaps that’s why I’m having a tough time falling asleep tonight as I attempt to unwind for what I hope will be a rejuvenating weekend. Yet as I sit here sleepless, the labours and stress of the past five days have already faded, and what is sticking in my mind is the moment of calm that I did, indeed, find in the chaos.
During a 20-minute break the other day, I took a rare afternoon stroll around the complex of buildings near my office, passing by cafes and restaurants which were, as usual, teeming with professionals having lunch breaks or business meetings. With no appetite to mingle, I settled on a bench in the grassy field situated below the bustling bistros, a pretty palm tree by my side, to enjoy some pleasant afternoon sunshine.
As I looked at the tree, I recalled an e-mail I had received the day before from a colleague that was entitled, “Advice from a tree,” which had been making its rounds through social media channels. It included a simple-yet-beautiful list of counsels on what we can learn from trees, namely to:
* Stand tall and proud
* Go out on a limb
* Remember your roots
* Drink plenty of water
* Be content with your natural beauty
* Enjoy the view
As I admired the tree, I opened my iPhone to re-read the words of wisdom, which I had forwarded to my sisters and some friends. No more than five minutes later I got up and walked back to my office for another five or so hours of work.
Superbly, I’m pretty sure it’s only those five very generous and enriching minutes that will remain with me for a long time to come.