Friday, October 5, 2012
Trees are Life
My favorite part of the natural world has got to be trees. I live on a mountain full of them, from every view out of the windows of our home their leaves reflect the sun in the summer. In fall they drop colourful leaves in the heavy rains and in winter their strong branches bare the weight of occasional snow fall. Spring brings buds and flowers on some varietals and birds sing of the wheel's turning.
The concept of the World Tree, Tree of Life as axis mundi or the connector of the sky, earth and underworld is one that resonates deep inside me. In my trance work a large smooth tree with wide branches and curling roots acts as my entrance point to my sacred space. Sometimes the tree is full of leaves, sometimes its branches are bare. Always I feel secure as soon as I see it, its energy being familiar and grounding.
The scientific magic of trees is still being studied but I have been reading small snippets of articles that talk about the ability trees have to communicate with each other. They clean the air, keep soil from eroding and provide shelter to countless other beings (us included). Check out this video relating the connections trees have through their root systems.
I tend to shift which tree to focus on depending on the seasons. In spring cherry, plum and apple blossoms herald new beginnings and maple trees share their sweet sap. In summer I love willow, oak and birch trees; all the leaves in their shapes and textures and how the sun shines through them. When fall arrives I tend to notice the trees laden with fruit and nuts and which ones turn colour first to signal autumn. And as Yule comes the conifers whisper quiet words of reassurance and lend their evergreen to the starker landscape of cold, wet days.
Here are some books on my future reading list if you are just as passionate as I. Don't forget to hug a tree today or stand in Tree pose and just be.
Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger
Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet by Diana Beresford-Kroeger
Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham
Mythic Woods: The World's Most Remarkable Forests by Jonathan Roberts
How to Plant a Tree: A Simple Celebration of Trees and Tree-Planting Ceremonies by Daniel Butler