I am the guardian of a two hundred year old oak. Or rather, the oak is my guardian. It stands on the hillside next to our family home in the Reinhardswald, the land of fairy tale characters like Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. Truth be told, I never really noticed the oak. I was always too busy with work, or when I wasn’t working with being stressed about the work I hadn’t yet done. Until one late afternoon in the Summertime.
On that fateful day the time fell out of joint. In the aftermath of the event I learned that crisis is an opportunity for change. The question that presented itself was, are you going to take this opportunity? Are you going to continue on the old route, guided by the expectations of others, or are you going to find your own path? It was then that I saw the oak for the first time. It told me there was a world waiting to be discovered.
That very moment I decided to build a factory around the oak tree. A very small and modest workshop, where I could rest beneath the leaves until my wounds had healed (just like the wounded squirrel in Hugh Lofting’s The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle), take photographs under the oak tree, write columns and short stories on the tree swing, and practice philosophy in the tree hut – the way that Pooh Bear would do it: wu wei.