It was day one of the staff retreat. The day that my team was meeting under my leadership. Staff and volunteers had come from across the country and I had to lead them, inspire them, and encourage them. The trouble was, I wasn’t feeling very inspired myself. I was just feeling…. well, kinda blah. Low energy and low motivation.

Halfway through the day we took a break. It was a beautiful day and we were close to the woods and the river, so I went for a walk. Near the Red River, in the middle of a small wooded area, I spotted the largest tree I have ever seen in this province. It would have taken about 4 people with their arms fully spread to make a circle around that tree.

I spread my arms as far as I could reach and leaned against that big solid tree, my face pressed up against the rough bark. I stayed there for a few minutes, just leaning. Borrowing energy from a tree that had stood through more than a hundred prairie winters and a myriad of floods, storms, and pestulance. Soaking up inspiration from a life-force that had born witness to endless human and animal stories. Finding encouragement in this remarkable source of oxygen, shade and beauty. All the while, thanking the Creator for this love-song shaped like a tree.
Refreshed, I returned to my meeting.

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