Skip to content

榆樹的傷痕

camperdown-elm-316360_1280有一個農場主為了方便拴牛,在莊園的一棵榆樹上箍了一個鐵圈。
隨著榆樹的長大,鐵圈慢慢嵌進了樹身,榆樹的表皮留下一道深深的傷痕。
有一年,當地發生了一種奇怪的植物真菌疫病,方圓幾十公里的榆樹全部死亡,唯獨那顆箍了鐵圈的榆樹卻存活下來。
為什麼這棵榆樹能倖存呢?植物學家對此產生了興趣,於是組織人員進行研究。結果發現,正是那個給榆樹帶來傷痕的鐵圈拯救了它。因為從鏽蝕的鐵圈裡吸收了大量鐵份,所以榆樹才對真菌產生了特殊的免疫力。
這是一個真實的故事,發生在上世紀五十年代美國的一個農場裡。這棵樹至今仍生長在美國密歇根州比猶拉縣附近的那個農場裡,充滿生機和活力。
不僅是樹,人也是如此。我們也許在生命中受過各種各樣的傷害,但這些傷害又成為生命的一道養料,讓生命變得更剛毅,更堅強,更充滿生機、活力和希望。同時也讓傷害成為一個警醒,讓我們及時從迷惑中解脫。
沒有人會無緣無故在你生命中出現。每一個在你生命裡出現的人,都有甚深的因緣。愛你的人給了你感動,你愛的人讓你學會奉獻,你不喜歡的人教會你寬容與接納,不喜歡你的人,促使你自省與成長。所以,如果你曾受過傷害,請感謝那些你認為傷害了你的人。
在人生的修行中,讓我們接納一切因緣,無論是順緣,還是逆緣,都是我們必修的功課。讓我們隨緣、惜緣、了緣,歷境煉心,自在而行。
Po Bronson, in his book WHY DO I LOVE THESE PEOPLE? (Random House, 2005), tells a true story about a magnificent elm tree. The tree was planted in the first half of the 20th Century on a farm near Beulah, Michigan (USA). It grew to be a magnificent tree.
In the 1950s, the family that owned the farm kept a bull chained to the elm. The bull paced around the tree, dragging a heavy iron chain with him, which scraped a trench in the bark about three feet off ground. The trench deepened over the years, though for whatever reason, did not kill the tree.
After some years, the family sold the farm and took their bull. They cut the chain, leaving the loop around the tree and one link hanging down. Over the years, bark slowly covered the rusting chain.
Then one year, agricultural catastrophe struck Michigan in the form of Dutch Elm Disease. It left a path of death across vast areas. All of the elms lining the road leading to the farm became infected and died. Everyone figured that old, stately elm would be next. There was no way the tree could last, between the encroaching fungus and its chain belt strangling its trunk.
The farm's owners considered doing the safe thing: pulling it out and chopping it up into firewood before it died and blew over onto the barn in a windstorm. But they simply could not bring themselves to do it. It was as if the old tree had become a family friend. So they decided to let nature take its course.
Amazingly, the tree did not die. Year after year it thrived. Nobody could understand why it was the only elm still standing in the county!
Plant pathologists from Michigan State University came out to observe the tree. They observed the scar left by the iron chain, now almost completely covered by bark and badly corroded.
The plant experts decided that it was the chain that saved the elm's life. They reasoned that the tree must have absorbed so much iron from the rusting chain, that it became immune to the fungus.
It's said that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. Or, as Ernest Hemingway put it, "Life breaks us all, but afterwards, many of us are strongest at the broken places."
The next time you're in Beulah, Michigan, look for that beautiful elm. It spans 60 feet across its lush, green crown. The trunk is about 12 feet in circumference.
Look for the wound made by the chain. It serves as a reminder that because of our wounds, we can have hope! Our wounds can give us resources we need to cope and survive. They can truly make us strong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.