“Look for the tree among the leaves.”
The informant takes this expression from her father, for whom she has the utmost respect.
“It’s probably the most meaningful piece of wisdom my dad has ever given me. I’m not sure where he got it, and frankly, I don’t care. For me, it shows me how well my dad knows me. He always gives me this advice because I tend to over-analyze things whenever I reach a hiccup in my life. I often lose sight of where I am in all of the chaos. Whenever I get too wrapped up in my own thoughts . . . too . . . inside my own head, I think of his saying, and I think to myself, ‘Where is the tree? What is the source of my problem?’ I find that once I look at things that way, the solution is generally a lot clearer.”
The informant further explained that she generally thinks of the expression when she is very emotional. Thus, recalling to mind something that such a dear mentor has said to her brings her as much comfort inherently as does the semantic meaning of the saying itself.