Silver Maple Seeds

Once again billions of tiny winged seeds flutter in spiral descent to the earth where they will either take root and grow, or die to become food for the soil or the seed eaters.

Silver Maple Seeds

Millions will take root and reach briefly to the sun, only to be eaten by hungry creatures, mowed down, shaded out, flattened, deprived of water or air…

Their lives, their existence become a blessing to this earth. Their joy at living and fulfilling their destiny, however briefly is immeasurable, and strengthens the web of all life in ways unfathomable to human intelligence.

A few who take root will develop over many years into massive friendly shade trees lining the streets of towns, gracing woodlands and riparian zones, providing shade to humans, shelter to those buzzing and winged insects, flying birds large and small, and tiny fur bearers.

Silver Maple Bark

They will send their roots deep into the earth to hold the soil and anchor their massive trunks and crowns, drawing nourishment and life giving ground water into themselves.

Silver maples grace our world with their interlacing branches, providing cool shade on hot days, a solid place to lean and connect to the Earth. A place to know peace.

Every seed, every seedling is a complete miracle, unrepeatable by any manufacturing process devised by humans. Each one, a mystery.

Like a tree

Like a tree you can send down your roots and draw energy and nourishment from the earth, trusting in your ability to feed your body, live in the light, and anchor your spirit.

Like a tree, you can grow toward the light, straight and true, with no deviation to the left or right, trusting in the life-giving light of your true purpose to guide you and inform your growth.

Like a tree, you can reach out toward the heavens, connecting with all that is, trusting that you are one with all things, trusting that your roots will hold you.

Like a tree, you can send out new growth, trusting in the process of life to bring you energy, creativity, and soaking in the sustenance of light that is your birthright.

Like a tree, you can develop your seeds for the future and scatter them when they’re ready. Trust that these seeds of love, kindness, connection, hope, seeds of possibility and creativity and ongoing life will take root and grow where they are most needed.

Maple seeds

Like a tree, you can experience seasons of rest, seasons of regeneration and growth, seasons of letting go, trusting in the great rhythms of nature, trusting you are where you need to be.

You are more like a tree than you can imagine!

Your surroundings reflect you!

I would like to thank all those many two legged beings who pick up the trash from our community of trees, grasses wildflowers, bushes, thistles, brambles… We feel your care as you clean up behind those who give no thought to their papers, wrappers, cans, bottles, bags and junk.

Your surroundings reflect you and your inner world. Look around you. Are you pleased by what you see?

Remember this: The woods and beaches and neighborhoods and landscapes and private yards on this earth reflect what you think of yourselves. If you have no self regard you will show that outwardly by dropping trash and fouling your environment.

If you love yourself and care for yourself, your surroundings will reflect that regard.

We keep the earth in balance, all of us, together! Please continue to do your part. Learn to become aware of your piece in this puzzle called life on planet earth. Learn how you fit in with the other living beings that surround you.

Learn how your spirit fits in with the spirits of all things, the living tapestry of energy that surrounds and supports us all.

Know that we are all connected in this magnificent web of life. We depend on each other. We thrive together!

Please be aware!

Why so many food wrappers plastic bottles, grocery bags, random papers, and unknown pieces of junk in the woods?

Please be aware of your waste and the effect it has on others, including other species. Those that must remain rooted, especially.

As the wrappers and junk degrade, the elements used leach into soil and water, our direct source of sustenance, and indirectly, your source of sustenance. For we are all connected!

Grandmother Cottonwood, morning sunlight

We trees and rooted beings take up our nutrients from the soil, but we can’t sort out the harmful from the healthy.

Plus, think of this! it makes our surroundings and yours ugly, toxic, unpleasant. I did not sign up for this life to act as a dumpster!

Wake up! Trash in the woods is just a tiny part of the disrespect for our home planet and unawareness of the connections between all living things.

When humans pollute and foul their own nest, poison their own air and water, they do the same harm to those life forms that support their very existence on this planet.

From the trees that shade and shelter you, that hold the soil from erosion, the tiny insects that buzz and pollinate your food supply, those that become food for the birds, those creatures of tooth and claw that keep other populations in check, those rooted ones that filter the air, those soaring birds that clean up the dead carcasses of fallen animals, those mammals that graze and ruminate – we all depend on each other.

Kingfisher

Whether you know it or not, we will all survive together, or we will go down together.

Message from the plants

We grow and reach to the sun. It is our birthright, the promise deep in each seed and rhizome and creeping root and flowering bulb. We are survivors. We are alchemists of air, earth, water and light!

We aim to thrive and prosper on our patch of this amazing earth. To make the most of our lives here together growing in communities, complementing each other.

The trees tall and spreading with the shorter denser undergrowth. The shade giver with the shade lover, the sun worshiper with those who will thrive in the harmony of dappled light.

Grandmother Cottonwood

We each have our niche, our talents, our habits. Our unique beauty and form. We thrive together in mixed communities, just like humans do.

You may not notice us or give us much thought, but know that we live good lives, satisfying lives. Even if humans never walked the earth, our lives satisfy and energize and delight us. We root ourselves deeply and anchor to the earth, grow toward the light and reach to the heavens. It is our joy!

Think of this. We plants feed and clothe you, shelter and make your world delightful. We cool you in our shade, we filter your air, we hold your soil. We provide countless opportunities for design motifs to make your world more beautiful.

When you eat a meal, thank a plant. When you go into your wood framed home and feel safe and comfortable, thank a plant. When you sit at your wooden furniture, thank a plant.

When you find cool shelter in leafy shade, thank a plant. When you catch the fragrance of a spring flower, a rose, a lilac, lavender, a peony, thank a plant.

Bleeding Heart

When you use essential oils for healing, thank a plant. When you use herbs to create interesting flavors in your foods, thank a plant… when you eat honey, thank a plant.

When you drink tea or coffee or hot chocolate or beer, or wine thank a plant… When you eat meat, thank a plant ( many of the creatures eaten for their meat graze on grasses or eat seeds) when you eat bread, thank a plant, when you wear perfume, thank a plant….. shall I continue?

It is full on spring now, and we are back!

Grandmother Cottonwood speaks

Because of my rooted nature, I am by necessity a homebody. I observe and experience my world…and I am never bored!

I am exquisitely tuned to the shifting air currents and breezes, the temperatures that rise and fall, that are different at my crown and my roots.

I know minutely the angle of the sun as it moves through the yearly cycle of seasons, I know patterns of bird migration, seasons of nesting, hatching, fledging, the first flight; the burrowing habits of the fur bearers, the call of the owl, the secret places they drop their feathers, the movements of the deer at dawn and dusk…

I am witness to the patient gliding and flicking tongues of snakes in warm weather as they embrace mother earth with their bodies; the buzz or quiet wing beat of insects as they go about their business of crawling all over me… or nesting in the soil nearby.

I know the prairie grasses, from their first show of green in early spring to the late summer when they’ve grown taller than a man, seed heads heavy and nodding, swaying in the wind.

Prairie grasses

I know the exquisite blue of the sky, sometimes perfectly clear and fathomless, sometimes holding storm clouds that move swiftly to the south, sometimes holding clouds slow and heavy, blotting out the sun, stalling over our valley for days.

From my height, I feel the sunlight gilding my upper branches on clear mornings. I know the gentle swelling and unrolling of my leaf buds in spring, the effortless growth of my bead-like seed pods from tiny and tender to dry and brown and bursting with tiny seeds.

Cottonwood seeds

I know the flight of my cottony seeds on spring winds. I fill the valley with my white fluff. I know them all. I know every leaf on the crowns of my offspring.

From my chosen place on this great planet, I observe the beauty, the variety, the oneness of all things and I am richly blessed!

GCW’s speech is to be continued in the next post…

Web of life

My bark may feel cold and rough to you this winter’s day. Do not let this fool you, for my heart is warm and welcoming! 

I may seem silent, separate, apart.  Do not be fooled, for in my own way I am fully engaged in the web of life on this planet!

I may seem irrelevant to your human world, your worries, concerns, and solutions to your problems.  Do not be fooled, for my energy interweaves in intricate patterns  with that of all living things including humans.  We are in this together!

My quiet existence matters in the web of life. My existence creates a ripple and a powerful filament of love in the tapestry of the universe.  I belong here!

I want you to know each thought, word and feeling of yours has energetic reality that affects the web of life, just as my tree energy does. You make a difference ! You matter and you belong here! 

You don’t have to move mountains or bring peace to the Middle East. Simply tune your thoughts and feelings gradually to happiness and joy and kindness and laughter a little more often.

Turn off those news programs and avoid those people that manipulate you into anger and fear.   Guide your time and energy to uplifting, soul satisfying activities, thoughts, words, beliefs, friends, and entertainment.

In this way you will affect the web of life for good!  You are a creator whether you know it or not!

Take your job seriously!  You and I, along with all living beings on earth reweave the web of life with each thought, feeling, and action.

Long winter’s nap

Take a tip from the animal community and hibernate a little while – otherwise known as taking a long winter’s nap…

Also the society of deciduous trees recommends that you go dormant awhile. Let go of excess baggage & rest during the dark and cold months when you feel the need.

Can you let go of racing thoughts, to-do lists and rest when your body signals the need? Can you let your awareness dissolve into dreamspace for a time and renew, repair, and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit with high quality sleep?

Does your brain command you to do, do, do and give you no time for rest or relaxation? A revving engine in a rusted, broken, worn out body will get you nowhere!

So, take good care of your body! Take it in for regular maintenance! Sleep, wholesome food, movement, fresh air, relaxation! This is your soul’s vehicle on earth. Surrender to its needs, pay attention to its rhythms and messages.

The wisdom of your body is subtle. Pay attention and come into balance, body, mind and spirit.

Hug a tree, feel the peace

I welcome all who wish to rest here under my spreading canopy. I invite you to renew your spirit here, leaning against my trunk. 

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Message from Grandmother Cottonwood

Let me take your weight as you lean on me.  Let your body and soul relax.  Allow your batteries to recharge with my energy.  I am a safe place for you to let go of stress, to tap into the energy of earth and sky.

Do others think you’re crazy when you hug a tree? 

You know what they do not – It just feels good to hug a tree!  You are sensitive enough to feel and know the peaceful loving tree energy that flows from heaven to earth.

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GCW in winter

I am here for you – an anchor, refuge, healer, a solid peaceful presence, loving and kind.

Come rest with me, come lean on me.

Joy!

I want you to know what you might call the joy, expansion and contentment I feel rooted to my home and reaching for the sun, moon and stars.

It is my life’s work to grow to full mature height, to put out new leaves and bead-like fruits containing numberless seeds each spring, to be fully present in my physical being, to inhabit my allotment of earth and sky, to pull in nourishment from soil and sunlight, rain and air. 

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GCW in summer

This life is all I know, the seasons changing, the weather moving across my valley, wind storms and lightning, torrential rain, or mist, heat and cloudless summer days.

My leaves, shimmering in the breeze, turning golden as the sun dips toward the south, each one released in its time, thousands of them forming a brown carpet at my roots, enriching the soil that feeds me.

Now the late summer slides moment by moment into  fall…  fall into winter… Soon, I will know the deep rest, renewal, and quiet of winter. I welcome this time of release…

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GCW in fall

Yes, I have lost branches, they’ve rotted, fallen away and thumped heavily into the soft earth at my roots… I let them go without regret… My crown is thinner now, down to the essence of what is needed for life.  No more, no less.

Until I am ready to release life itself, I shall continue stand here with patience, knowing and welcoming every creature that shelters with me; knowing those that fly above and burrow below, those 6 legged crawlers  and spinners that live in my bark, the scaly ones that slide silently through the underbrush, the fur bearers that visit, the winged ones large and small that nest in my branches or perch momentarily on my crown day and night. I know their songs, their colors, their habits, I know the grip of their tiny claws, the vibration of the beat of their wings.

I know intimately those rooted ones in our community – the grasses, thistles, oak, locust, sycamore, the sunflowers, goldenrod, the cone-flower, the milkweed the Queen Anne’s Lace… there are too many to name… our roots, stems, and branches interweave, our energies overlap – we are a living neighborhood.  We know and communicate with each other. We thrive together!

This life is so precious to me.  It brings me joy!  Can you feel it too?