Which tree is more beautiful?

Once when I was strolling with the Imam in the front yard he told me: “Can you tell me which one of the trees is more beautiful?” Until then I had not paid any attention to this subject and that for instance, the way in which the branches spread out from the tree trunk gave a certain beauty to a tree. Thus I replied: “Well, this one.”

The Imam said: “Don’t just say something; what is your reason for the beauty of this tree? Go and think for a couple of days.” I jokingly said that because that tree was green! The Imam said: “No, go and find out what makes a tree beautiful. See how the branches are placed on the tree trunk. What is the shape of the tree trunk. See how the leaves are arranged on the branches. What is the form of the shade of the tree...” he would mention each one of these aspects and would point to them. He continued: “See the overall form of this tree... see its separate components.” There was another tree at the corner of the front yard. Half an hour before dusk, I was strolling with the Imam in the front yard. He said: “Fathi, you were not present! At dawn before sunrise when I take a stroll, you don’t know how beautiful this tree is; when the sun shines from behind over the top of the tree, it gives this part of the tree a special beauty.”

Which tree is more beautiful? Fatimah Tabataba’i

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