Life Lessons from Bamboo

Last week, we celebrated the arrival of Summer. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, we transitioned from Spring, the Liver season, to Summer, the season of the Heart. In Spring, we embrace the spirit of Wood energy. This is the season when all of Nature bursts forth with life. Wood is representative of the trees. They are firm and rooted in Earth, yet flexible and able to move with the breeze. Bamboo is one such woody plant. It reminds us to stay grounded and remain flexible in body, mind, and spirit.

Like any plant, bamboo requires water, fertile soil and sunshine in order to reach its potential.  However, for four years after the bamboo seed is planted, nothing is visible above the earth—all of its growth takes place underground. A massive root structure forms and spreads deep and wide in the earth. Then, in the fifth year, the bamboo bursts out of the ground, growing up to 80 feet tall!

Bamboo embraces the true feeling of Spring. Often, when we transition into Summer, we lose sight of the recent growth that took place in Nature. This transition also takes place in each and every one of us. So as Nature transitions to the long, fiery days of Summer, remember the energy of Spring. Envision yourself as a bamboo seed. You have been spreading your firm root system for many years. You are ready now. It is now your time to burst forth and grow. And when you reach your potential, stand tall, knowing that your firm footing will prepare you for whatever life may throw at you.