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Earning Your Tree Rings

What do your rings tell you?

At a meeting I attended earlier today, a discussion began on a person’s age. One member suggested we cut him in half and count the rings. This received a hearty harrumph from us all.

But I can’t help but wonder, what do our rings tell us?

With trees, rings tell us two important things; the age of the tree, and the weather conditions each year of its life. The lighter colored portion of the grain or ring determines the growth during spring and early summer. The darker color represents growth conditions during late summer or fall.

But the rings can also tell us if the tree encountered parasites, storm damage, illness, blight, floods, drought, etc. One could examine a tree and determine its entire history. Of course, you would have to fell the tree first, which would certainly interrupt its future growth a little.

What do your rings reveal? What years enjoyed rapid growth? What years did you experience floods, and were buried underwater? What years did you succumb to illness, how many years did it take for you to recover?

Each year of your life is a record of your successes, trials, challenges, triumphs, and difficulties. Each of your “rings” tells a story of what you endured and what you enjoyed. Examine your past years. No matter how challenging they may have been at the time, you are here now. You survived. You adapted, improvised, overcame. You are here because you rose above the challenge. You are here despite your challenge. Your life is a record of rising to the occasion.

But here is another wrinkle in the rings of life theory.

When a tree is felled and processed for lumber, the rings are then called “grain.” The grain of the wood determines how the wood will be used for future projects. Tables, desks, houses, chairs, and cabinets all need the grain to go a particular direction. Strength is determined by the direction of the grain as the project is in progress. Moreover, the tighter the grain, the stronger the wood.

I’ll say that again, the tighter the grain, the stronger the wood.

The years the tree suffered the most, the better use the lumber will be later. The better lumber will be put to the greatest use. The trees that had the hardest years will enjoy a place in the most beautiful projects. Beautiful furniture is rarely made of construction lumber.

Soft woods with wide growth rings rarely withstand strong winds. It is the tree with the densest grains, the hardest summers and winters, that withstand the gale force winds of possible future storms. And those trees will be put to the most beautiful uses.

At one time, dashboards of expensive luxury vehicles were made of burlwood. Burlwood isn’t a grain. Burlwood is created when the tree experiences stress caused by insects, parasites, bad seasons, etc. The wood grows knobs that grow rapidly and create beautiful patterns. Could you imagine a Rolls-Royce with a pine dash? Pine is often used in rough construction, where it is then covered by drywall and paint. No one sees the soft pine with wide grain. Everyone appreciates the burlwood. It has seen a few things and become more beautiful as a result.

The times in your life when you had the toughest winters produced the toughest grains in you. This allows you to be put to the greatest use later in your life. A soft life sitting on the couch or playing video games will never be asked to provide service for others. Soft lives create soft people. Soft people cannot be used for beautiful projects or projects that involve strength of character.

Get out there and live a life. Get blown around a little. Experience life’s floods, droughts, and tough winters. Rise up to the challenge of each year’s growth season. Develop tough rings that can withstand further challenges. Make yourself suitable for the best uses life has to offer.


This week in Tai Chi, we will visit the Tai Chi ruler. I couldn’t teach class this morning due to an event I must attend. And students of the Wednesday class could not make it. So we will work with the Rulers again this week.

I will NOT host any classes the week before Christmas and the week after Christmas. I will make another announcement in next week’s blog, but there will be NO CLASSES from Dec 20th to the end of the year. Classes will begin in Jan. Jasper and Unity will continue as normal, but the Wednesday night class will be canceled for the foreseeable future due to my college class schedule. I plan to revisit that class when the schedule opens again.

Classes are as follows.

All classes are pay as you go. No contracts or commitments.


Tuesday 6:30pm

Dubois County Museum

2704 Newton

Classes are $12.


Wednesday 6:30pm

Tri State Holistic Wellness

500 Saint Phillips Rd 47712

Classes are $10 cash

Saturday 11:00 am

Unity of Evansville

4118 Pollack Ave 47714

Classes are $10 cash

I am in school for Therapeutic Massage and adding this modality to my repertoire. Massage, Reiki, and Acupressure are a potent combination. At the end of the session, I add crystal bowls and drumming for even deeper relaxation and healing.

I'm available by appointment throughout the week in Evansville for

Reiki / Acupressure / Massage

Herbalism / Nutrition

$60 cash

Message me by text, email, or Facebook Messenger to schedule an appointment.

In the Tao,

Sifu Weeg

Joe Weigant (Sifu Weeg) is the owner/operator of Tri State Holistic Wellness LLC. Joe is a Reiki Master and Empowerment Coach who specializes in energy therapy to aid recovery in stress and stress-related ailments. He also provides herbs and herbal remedies for health and wellness. Visit

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