Appreciate the Tree, Don’t Wait for the Fruit

Image by mbll from Pixabay

I get hung up on what philosophers call “the fruits” of my actions. They all say, in one form or another, to not get attached to the fruits of our actions. This is the outcome, the results that we were waiting for. The finished project: the book, the movie, the meal, the Lego creation.

I know this advice well and I’ve tried to listen to it for decades. But what I find is that, rather than just avoiding attachment to the fruits of my action, I neglect the tree.

The tree is the present moment. It’s the work, as you are doing it. It’s you, washing the dishes. It’s you, taking even 5 minutes to write in that book or work on that painting or build that Lego creation (Can you tell I’m a dad?)

The tree is beautiful. It may have blossoms. It may have leaves. It may be barren. It may be young in its life, or near the end of its life. But it is there, and you can appreciate it.

Your act, in this moment, is your tree. You want to write? You can take 5 minutes to write and not worry about the fruit. You don’t need to think about whether the fruit is a good one. Just write, enjoy that 5 minutes. You want clean dishes? Just wash them, now and not later, for those few minutes. Don’t worry if you finish. Enjoy the feel of the water, warm against cold hands in this winter. The scents. The act of service.

You want to learn something new? Do something? Learn it today, do it today. Even if you’re only going to do it for 5 minutes. That will be you, today, appreciating a new tree you’ve planted or restored.

What’s your tree look like today?

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

Comments are awesome. I approve positive comments, even if you disagree with me. I don't approve comments that are negative, even if you're agreeing with me.