Many a genius has been slow of growth.
Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed.
- George H. Lewis
The oak represents courage and endurance and the protective power of faith. The tree's noble presence and nurturing habit reassured ancient peoples that, with the good will of their gods, their leader, and their warriors, they could prevail against all odds.
As the Tree of the Dagda, the oak offers protection and hospitality without question, although its true rewards are only apparent to the honest and brave. The ancient Celts deplored lies and cowardice. To be judged mean spirited could result in exclusion from the clan, which was one of the most shameful and most feared of all possible punishments. Like the oak, we would do well to receive without prejudice all those who seek our help, sharing what we have without resentment or reservation.
The oak reminds us all that the strength to prevail, come what may, lies in an open mind and a generous spirit. Inflexibility, however, is the oak's one weakness and the tree is prone to lose limbs in storms. The oak therefore carries the warning that stubborn strength that resists will not endure and may break under strain.
From: The Wisdom of Trees