ARBORIST MEETS THE DALAI LAMA – OCTOBER 2009


WELCOME TO MY FIRST TREEMENDOUS BLOG.  Initially I wanted to select a topic from an organized outline of tree related themes.  But since I am a procrastinator and a perfectionist, the perfect blog would not get written, likely until my retirement (whenever that happens).  So be prepared to see changes in the topics, style and format as these pages evolve.  I anticipate that most will provide tree related information in one form or another.  Perhaps others will be more philosophical, like this one.

I thought I would begin with an enlightening experience that occurred this past week.  I was back in New York for a memorial for my dad who passed away a couple of years ago.  My family and I were staying at a mid-scale hotel in Queens, New York.

While down in the lobby for my morning coffee, I approached the coffee station for a refill when a security guard stopped my motion.  In a matter of seconds, the elevator opened and an entourage of people emerged, with the Dalai Lama in the center.  My jaw dropped as his graciousness turned to face the service people and myself, smiling and bowing his head in our direction.  He extended his hand (notably soft, not harsh from tree work) to the service people and me, acknowledging his appreciation and thanks, although I hadn’t done anything but stand in the right place at the right time; A blessing received for being in the right place at the right time.

Isn’t that how things happen in life?  I often think about how life would be different if I didn’t go out that night in 1975 when I met that girl; my wife for over thirty years.  We can probably say that about everything from the greatest events to the most negative experiences.

So how do these profound experiences relate to trees?  The beginning of my career was in 1977, not necessarily the result of a spontaneous encounter.  My arboreal experiences over the past three decades are also the result of planned activities and goals.  Yet the most tragic experience of my career, the death of an employee and friend, was partially the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As a result I’ve worked toward not subjecting my destiny to luck or that of a spiritual experience.  I’ve learned that education, integrity, awareness, and experience, are required to provide the best management for trees.

My career path has an extraordinary affect on my quality of life, but perhaps the spiritual and spontaneous encounters offer some of the greatest opportunities for learning and growth.  I haven’t yet figured out the mystery of my meeting with the Dalai Lama.  But my senses are aware and receptive to encounters and observations so I can continue to sustain a meaningful quality of life and a significant association to trees.

Treemendously yours,

Bill Spiewak

10 Comments

  1. I absolutely love the first post and I look forward to reading future ones. I’m so proud of you dad! Woo woo!

  2. Hi Bill,
    You amaze me. Ever thought about going into public relations? Your blog is great, enjoyable to read, informative, and optimistic. I feel fortunate to have you as a close friend whom I can trust to guide me through the roots and branches of life, so to speak. I hope that we will continue to meet occasionally so that I can hear your adventures and benefit from your wisdom.
    Your friend,
    Jim

    1. Thanks Gary. Many people have said they would have loved to been in my shoes. It was an instant event that went by as fast as it appeared (well almost). I think we often think of what we should have done after it’s too late. Oh well, I guess that’s life.

  3. Bill —

    Thanks for the story, a good inspiration and reminder of how blessing are bestowed on us and to keep our minds in the correct space!

    Look forward to more TREEmendousbloging!

    1. Craig,
      Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it and will continue to explore my feelings on trees and philosophy. Perhaps this meeting was to make up for the one I missed a few months ago. Talk to you soon.

  4. Hi Bill,
    I really enjoyed your story of a fleeting moment, and your reflection upon its meaning. I agree that we are sometimes at the mercy of fate and good or bad timing. And, always striving to be our best can increase our “odds” of good luck!
    You are a fabulous Arborist and truly a benefit to your community. Thank you for sharing this personal story!

    All best,
    Lisa Smith

  5. That is awesome! That you met such a wonderful leader in the free world. Your elation and awe, show the wisdom of your years. It is obvious, that the experiences you have been through, have not only determined who you are, but where you are in your career, and life today.
    You are at the pinnacle of your career, with many years to come. You have done Treemendous things already in bringing our small, yet very important, world of Arborist together. You have always been the consumate professional. I like the blog, Keep up the good work.

    Thank You,

    Mark Crane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s