The Value of Adversity (the oak tree poem)

Oak Tree

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” ~Seneca

When life gets dark and dreary and the rains of discontent pound relentlessly with a ferocity that tests our endurance, simple reminders sometimes help us see the wisdom in the process more clearly.

Perhaps the following poem can be the inspiration needed to carry us through the toughest parts of our most challenging moments.

Life can certainly get rocky. But it is in those trying moments that we find something within we didn’t realize was there and become something more than we had ever been before.

The Oak Tree

by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You’ll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you
I’m stronger than I ever knew

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