Of Acorns, Oaks and the Walking Path of Manifestation

Posted June 2, 2016

by Johanna Bell


Welcome to May and the joys of the world in active and vibrant growth. As I walk down the green lit path to the lake, bird song surrounds me and the chipmunks rustle in the leaf litter on the ground. So much activity. Beneath my feet are hundreds of acorns in various forms. Some are whole and some are cracked open…contents dispersed or absconded with. I stop for a moment to look down at one that has revealed it’s bright red inner life. Next to it, is a tiny fragile plant rising from the path. It’s leaves are reddish and unmistakable. From tiny acorns, great oaks grow! This little seedling is bravely trying to make its way into long and majestic life. I look at it and the great tree beings surrounding us and I am touched by the fragility and magnitude of every journey towards growth, evolution and manifestation. How many acorn prayers come to the earth as a dream of the tree to come? Some make it part way there. Some become food for another creature and the life-dream it is living. Some do not find their way into fertile ground and dry and dissolve.  So many factors must dance together to bring about a transformation that is enduring.

This resonates so deeply for me now. Sometimes, I find myself longing for the path of manifestation and personal evolution to come more easily. It would be so nice if all the effort made was rewarded with some quantifiable result and yet…not every wish is in direct relationship to my truth. Not every effort is streamlined from my center. Some of my efforts serve for other learning or for building endurance. Some teach me clearly and concisely the art of letting go. And then, of course, there is always timing.

In The Yoga Sutras we learn about Abhyasa and Vairagya. These two concepts loosely translate to “directed effort” and “non-attachment”. They are a beautiful pair of opposites that sing the counterpoint melodies of “never give up!” and “always let go!” With practice, we learn to be persistent …to hone our efforts and streamline our movement towards living in alignment with our highest good and greatest potential. We also become less attached to the form of any outcome and more resilient around the inevitable and necessary losses that are part of the cycle of growth…

The truth of the matter is…many of the seed dreams and their corresponding efforts we offer into the world don’t become what we hoped for and yet we can never fully know the impact or import of each of these offerings…what they may have helped to nourish or clear the way for (in our own lives, or the life of another.)

So it is with great compassion and reverence that I behold this little Oakling. It seems unlikely that it will live its way into tall and ancient being. It is not well placed, being directly at the center of this well-trod path…and yet it’s value cannot be underestimated. It came right from the essence of its parent tree, and encoded in its being is the ancient wisdom of process and growth…which unbeknownst to itself…on this day…it has passed (so grace-fully) on to me.



Bread and Yoga
5000 Broadway, Suite A
(Entrance on 212th St.)
New York, NY 10034