The Olive Tree

The Olive Tree


It has been said that the Olive tree is a symbol of peace, health, prosperity, luck and wisdom.  The Olive tree has been part of our existence for over 3000 years.  It has seen civilisations rise and fall.  It can withstand pests, human catastrophes and natural disasters.   You can literally cut down the entire tree, dig out its root and replant it, and the Olive tree would still live on!  I have seen its resiliency first hand.  A resiliency that allows it to thrive in rocky, poor soil not fit for anything else to grow.  Each time I walk amongst these glorious trees, I am left speechless and in awe.  As my hand touches its trunk, I feel like I am touching history which is thousands of years in the making.   I wonder, could these trees that I lay my hand on be sisters of the original ancient tree Homer wrote about in Athens?  A tree 10,000 years old - who could believe such a tree and its existence?  Yet from everything we know today, this could very well be possible.  The Olive tree was sacred to the Athenians.  Destroying an Olive tree was prohibited and any such action would be viewed as capital punishment by the Greek Court.  This reverence continued throughout history.  The Olive tree is frequently mentioned in the bible, from as early as the time of the flood when the dove from the ark brought an olive branch back to Noah.  This branch symbolised new life and a new beginning for humanity.  A peace and reconciliation with God.  Some of the oldest olive trees still grow today in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.  As I look upon these Olive trees and their wide, tall branches that shade me from the sun, I am reminded about my own history and connection to these resilient trees.  You could say that from the moment that their life-giving liquid first anointed my head when I was Baptised, my love and appreciation for the Olive tree started to grow.  It's truly amazing that this tree asks for very little in its care - it allows the east wind to blow hot, dry air from the desert and the west wind from the Mediterranean to bring rain and life in order to be fruitful all the while forging a legacy like no other.  The resilient Olive tree stands tall and bears witness to the fruit that it offers us each harvest.  Each time we partake of it's blessed fruit, it is almost like gaining a bit of its longevity as it nourishes our bodies and enrich our lives!


By:  Angela Patrianakos



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