Listening to Trees
I’ve talked to trees for a long time. You know like people talk to their roses as they prune them. I’ve only heard trees talking back to me a few times. Trust, I know it sounds darn weird but is my experience.
In the early 1980’s, while driving through the Redwoods from southern Oregon into California I stopped the car so I could embrace a tree. Don’t know what possessed me to do it. Must have been their magnificence drawing me in.
As I wrapped my arms as far as they could reach (not far at all) around the tree, I leaned against it and to sense what does a redwood tree feel like. The message I got came without words, was ancient, and quiet. It was a feeling of always being. Always without a beginning or an end.
My most recent experience with a tree was in Bryce National Park in southern Utah. My husband and I were hiking a rim hike overlooking a stunning canyon of red and white rock formations. At the same time, I could not help but keep noticing the trees in a very tidy forest on the other side of us. Again, trees have a magnetism that draws me to them. Eventually, I had to get closer and connect with them. I had to know more about these fir trees.
Before I tell you more about this experience, let’s jump back in time to unusual visit and conversation. I had completed a Oneness meditation ceremony and was resting before joining the group for discussion. A short man, a gnome (possibly) whom I’m sure I couldn’t have seen with my physical eyes if they’d been open walked into the room around the side of the bed.
As he approached me he said, “Are you the one who talks to trees?” Although surprised because I don’t think about it much when I talk to them. I usually tell them how beautiful they are and how much I appreciate them. I can barely remember what all he said. Although he explained a few things about trees to me and said there was more. My excitement at unusual encounters like this often disrupts it.
About a week later I was sitting in my backyard sketching the Cyprus trees and a lemon tree that grow there when the same short person let me know he was with me again. He said since I couldn’t pronounce his name I could just call him Freddie. That made me smile and I thanked him for understanding and for his kindness. He said he had a few more things to tell me about trees.
From those two visits, I know now that trees communicate with each other through their roots. They have an awareness of connection. Maybe that is oneness. They also share energy through their roots. It reminds me of how neurons firing in our brains has been depicted visually as lighting up as we think. It looks to me as if the tendrils of roots as they are spread in the soil send messages of light and energy to each other. Probably there is lots here I don’t know.
Also, I know that all trees have an energy similar to the ancient energy of the Redwood. Even the beautiful aspen, so much younger still holds within it the same stillness that’s in the ancient Redwood.
What Trees Say!
Finally, I’ll close by telling you what happened when I sat down with the fir tree in Bryce. There was a bench close enough to the tree that I could sit and put my feet at the base of the tree and my left had on the tree. No matter to me that hoards of tourists walked by in groups chatting. My desire to know the trees there compelled me to meditate while touching the tree. The stillness it held reminded me of home, of peace, of meditation where I find that place of no wants, no needs, no thought. I sensed how it was forever connected with all the trees there. And that it had a quiet joyousness in just being.
A few thoughts went through my mind but the one of the importance of taking care of our environment caught me. I had been appreciating how easy it was to recycle so many different materials while we visited this national park. Which then led to a stray thought of people who want to cut trees down. I know that’s a leap in thinking, but isn’t that how thought is? You’re here and then over there.
A single thought conveyed a matter-of-fact attitude. The message from the tree came when I thought of a person approaching it with a chainsaw. I heard, “Oh, I’m going to change form”. That is all there was to it. With inner peace just, awareness of coming change. No emotion, no drama, no pain. Just awareness. Wow. It stayed with me and I had to share it with you.
Funny as I’ve told others about this moment some have been touched, others felt it was the most beautiful part of the recent talk I’d given, and others even felt it was a Truth about death for anyone or thing. That we just change form. So simple. I didn’t so much think of it as it applied to people or pets. But others did. How does it strike you? Is it a message about trees or about all life?