The pictured tree on this blog is the Emancipation Oak, it’s a national landmark located on the campus of Hampton University, in Hampton VA. The tree is believed to be 500 years old, but to my eyes its beauty and majesty is timeless. It was named Emancipation Oak because the former slaves on the —plantation that would later become Hampton University, stood beneath its branches to hear the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.
I imagine that were tears of joy, spontaneous dancing and loud shouting done beneath the tree on that day. 150 years later I am still amazed and in awe at the joy I’ve found in my relationship with the pictured tree. My first visit with the tree was in June of 1996 when I came to the University with my then 18 y/o daughter. I remember praying that she would successfully complete college not necessarily with the highest grades, but that she would aspire to be a woman of integrity, faith and love. I remember asking God to provide for the money and resources we needed to pay for her tuition so that she would have a true education experience. God abundantly answered our prayer.
On my first visit, and every subsequent journey to the tree I felt like she was calling out to me. I looked at the arms of the tree and felt like I was held in hope, wisdom and peace. I now realize that is my desired outcome for everyone who enters or participates in Wisdom Tree Counseling.
Wisdom comes at different stages: when you are most human, when you face fear, move toward it, or work through it; when sacrifice is greatest and the darkness seems impenetrable; when you open yourself to the pain and pleasure of love when you smile and find joy in adversity; when you embrace your own spirit the wisdom comes.
Wishing you Wisdom