One Hundred and One Acorns

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with it fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
- Thomas Carlyle

Joshua was a rather quiet ten year old despite having two younger sisters around him.  One afternoon in early November as he was sitting on his back porch, he became fascinated with the sound of the wind in the white oak tree as it rustled through the leaves.

What seemed like a hundred acorns lay scattered across the lawn, thrown willy-nilly by the breeze.

A restlessness drove him to rise from the swinging porch bench and he walk over to the base of the oak tree, with the sound of crunching acorns and branches beneath his shoes.

It was more than a year since his granny had died and this was her favorite tree.  They would sit for hours on the two make-shift rope swings and talk about everything from cats to school to making the world a better place. 

Josh sat on the wooden seat of the tree swing and gained momentum and height as his thoughts wandered on the good times with his granny.

Like Sir Isaac Newton, he was shaken from his reverie by a painful blow on the top of his head.  He jerked his head around quickly enough to see this white acorn roll on its belly until it stopped about two feet away in a clump of vegetation with other acorns.  The season was over and this must have been the last acorn on the tree.

Walking over, Joshua picked up the acorn, noticing that a very small stem was sprouting from the top.

Carrying his special acorn to the garage, he pulled a 10 inch plant pot from the shelf and carried the ensemble to the garden and planted it in the pot.

The plant remained in the window box of his bedroom all through the cold months.  Progress was slow but Joshua monitored his little oak tree and praised it for every leaf and any growth of the stem. 

Joshua’s little oak tree responded to his love and attention and on the last Friday in April of that year Joshua carried his favorite plant for the school’s National Arbor Day celebration.  His school principal allowed him to plant his little oak tree on the front lawn of the school’s compound.

That was thirty-two years ago. 

Of the hundreds of acorns falling from the tree in his garden, Joshua’s special acorn now provides shade under its branches for all the teachers, parents, students and visitors at his old school.

Successful people have trusted advisors guiding them toward their goals. The next generation requires committed individuals who can see their potential and believe with them that they can surpass this potential.

A coach sees a strong oak tree in every acorn, holds the vision of the highest self for every client, and supports the client to pursue it.

[Coaching Questions]

  • What will your legacy be?
  • What is perfect about where you are in your life right now?
  • How do you pay attention to the call of the wind?
  • Who has picked you up and planted you in the pot?
  • What has to happen to become an oak tree?
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