The Tree of Life
The Baobab (b-ow-a-bob) tree is also known as the tree of life. To see an older Baobab tree in person is breathtaking. The Baobab tree has a lot of significance for my family members and is integrated in many facets of their daily life, beliefs and rituals.
I see the great symbolism of who we are as humans and as a community in the Baobab tree.
There are 8 species across Africa and Australia. The Baobab tree can grow in the most dry and harsh of climates. Throughout the rainy season it can collect up to 1200 gallons of water, depending on tree size, and then it can still produce the Baobab fruit in the dry season. . Besides being delicious, this fruit is used in many ways, which provides a significant resource for the community. For this reason it is called the tree of life.
The Baobab tree can live for thousands of years. The oldest tree in Senegal is 6,000 years old. The Baobab tree shows great resilience and is almost indestructible. As it hollows out, people will even build inside of the trees! If the bark is stripped or burned, it can regrow. It is not cut down for lumber as it is spongy and unuseful in that form. Don't we feel unmotivated and useless when we are cut down by trauma and others' judgments?
Communities gather around the large trees that produce shade. Music is played, politics spoken, babies named and friendships are made. Families bury their loved ones under the trees they deem the most spiritual.
In our therapeutic work together, I hope you can not only see your resilience, but build upon it. Just as the Baobab, I want you to see the power, strength, grace and life you have within.