Extending an Olive Branch

26th of November, World Olive Tree Day, a special day dedicated to a very special tree, we at Rescogita, as a company grounded on ecopsychology, can only honour this day and tree, a true friend to humanity since the mists of time. A tree with its previous olives and grey-green leafs became so close to many of our cultures that it entered popular legends, myths, religions and beliefs. The crown of athletes in classical times were made of olive branches and those same athletes would not win gold or silver medals but jars of olive oil. Greek believe that Athena by generating the first olive tree gave life to all the trees existing in our planet, Noah’s ark regains hope when a dove carries an olive branch from drylands etc. So many symbols and images are associated to this one single tree, friendship, peace, victory, light, richness. Perhaps because of its centennial lives, their capacity to grow and prosper under hard conditions, the healthy properties of olives themselves. 

Its importance and powerful symbols date from before Christianity, although also other monotheistic faiths and cultures continued to honour this tree’s benefits, and regard them as divine until our day. 

One of the approaches of ecopsychology is also that of what learnings we can gather from the non-human world, and we do wonder, upon looking at an olive tree what thoughts and feelings spring into our minds? What does this truly beautiful and wondrous tree have to teach us from its millennial experience? To whom do we need to extend an oliver branch today? 

L. Nava

Published by Lorenzo Nava

Consultant, Trainer and Coach, on participatory learning processes, experiential learning dynamics, non formal education and NLP certified practitioner

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