Life has a habit of damaging you. People get bitter and angry and cynical as they get older. They just can’t help it. People accumulate disappointment like trees accumulate rings. People often think that the world has changed for the worst and things were better in their youth. There are plenty of examples from Ancient Greece to the present day of people thinking that civil society has gone to the dogs, that young people have no discipline, that this, that or the other is out of control. It’s simply not true. It just means they are getting older.

We all face adversity, it’s how you deal with it that matters. Can you take the opportunity of a fresh start? Can you make something of the life you have rather than worrying about the life you used to have or the life you could have had? A huge part of the emotional and mental health crises people have is the irreconcilable difference between life as it is and life as they want it to be. It seems acceptance as the answer is the hardest thing to accept.

There are plenty of symbols and metaphors in nature which give us clear signs, if we are willing to read them. Allow yourself to be overcome by delusions of reference and the natural world is full of personal messages to you. As I wander through the woods in South Devon I see a living, breathing metaphor

Fallen Tree - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Listen, and the leaves gently whisper, “You are more resilient than you can imagine”.

What can you hear this tree saying to you?

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