A Transcendentalist Views an Acorn
I have only been in the company of this acorn five minutes, yet I feel like I have known it forever. It is within me, without me, and coursing through my veins. It is a microcosm of my existence.
There comes a time in every man’s life when he must leave home. We do not live but one life; rather we have lifetimes upon lifetimes to live, to grow, to learn. We spend our early years suckling from our mothers’ teats. We drink our life and our very existence from them. It is a comfortable, secure life, but we are always, always wishing for more. We feel that there must be more to this life than hanging in the breeze, and so our bonds to our parents grow weaker and weaker until, finally, we cut our safety line and plunge into the world around us.
The fall is not an easy one, for certain. This acorn has a hard shell because it needs it. This John, this Jonathan, is trampled and kicked around by the higher authorities from the day it lands in the world. Still it perseveres; it hangs on to its life because that’s all it has, and that’s all it can do. Its rough bark layering is incomplete, as is the case with this acorn, but it is not dead yet; nor are we.
Truly, the acorn is a miracle of self-reliance. It has no friends, no guardians; it left its mother tree long ago, and its brothers and sisters are just as immobile as it is. The acorn has itself to rely on and nothing more. Its shell is its shield.
Now I stare at this acorn, and I truly marvel at the beauty of it. This, like many others, could one day become a tall, strong, and beautiful tree. This acorn will embed itself in the ground, and slowly but surely it will grow. It will feed off the sustenance it has inside itself, and it will use this strength to make roots and drink rain, the cup of life. It will transcend the soil and rise above the squirrels and the children that made a mockery of it for so long. It will become a great tree, a king of the forest. Those animals which once abused it and ate it will make it their home. It will provide shade to children, to children’s children, and to a multitude of generations afterward. It will achieve harmony with the world around it, this same world that is a vital part of you and I. Eventually, it will create acorns of its own and thus continue the eternal cycle of life.
This acorn is you, and this acorn is I. It is the magic and the splendor of life, yet it fits within the palm of my hand. Truly there can be no more beautiful metaphor for life than the splendor of this little acorn.
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