Grandmother Cottonwood, evening sunlight
Sending down roots is making a commitment to life! I commit to this life, to this place and time, for the seasons, years and decades I’m blessed to live. My roots reach deep and wide. My roots and presence are my pledge of participation and involvement in the here and now – in the life of our beloved earth.
I take what I need from the earth and the atmosphere. I feed and sustain myself and allow the development and unfolding of my being from a tiny seed. I do not need to give myself permission to take the sustenance I need. My existence is permission enough. I am here to expand into my life’s design and purpose.
If a choice was possible, I would choose once again to be what I am now. I am blessed in this life to send my roots deeply into the soil and raise my branches and leaves, to scatter my seeds proudly.
In my home, a wooded margin at the head of a grassy flood plain, I make a commitment to live with my whole being, my entire spirit, to send my roots deeper and wider each year so I might know my part in this exquisite web of life and add my unique tone to the harmony of all that is.
Cottonwood seedpods and bark
My roots anchor me deeply to the earth. I am content to be here now, day after day, year after year, feeling the seasons shift, the sun’s warmth growing stronger as the earth turns toward spring. The winds and lightning, cleansing rains, the dear ones who share life with me here on this fringe of open meadow. I wake to my home, my circle of life.
After my long winter’s nap, I am gently opening to the birdsong and the frenetic activity of nest building and seed sprouting all around me. Groggy insects crawling out of their nests greet the warmth.
Vultures soar overhead against a backdrop of dramatic spring clouds. They’re back from their exotic winter home, come back to grace our air and land with their effortless easy sky dance as they catch the white sunlight on their magnificent wings.
I feel the millions of buds on my crown beginning to swell, the life force flowing into the tiny embryonic seed pods forming just as they have for millennia.
I am an integral element of this earth, I belong and so my dear, do you. We are all meant to be here. Your dear energy, your gifts and talents, your emotions, and thoughts are all part of this delightful tapestry that we call life.
Diminish yourself or any one of the creatures who make this earth home, and you diminish the whole, and yourself with it. Know yourself as a vital thread in the tapestry of life on our beautiful green earth.
A six year old from Central Iowa asks:
Q. Why do leaves turn color in the fall?
A. My dearest, we want some fun before our long winter’s nap! We love to color and paint just as you do! We delight in showing off and being noticed! Its part of who we are, the colorful party for another growing season well lived! Its the closest we get to a birthday party! The ashes and cottonwoods love the golden hues, as bright as sunshine! The maples and oaks like reds and scarlets and oranges, sometimes purple! What colors do you like to paint with?
Pick our beautiful leaves up and hold them to your heart. This is our gift to you!- Our breathtaking color combinations and hues. This is fun! We get to play before bedtime. Do you?
Think about this, and see if you do this too: We grow, we celebrate, then we rest. Grow, celebrate, rest. Grow celebrate, rest.
Love and tree hugs to you!
Grandmother Cottonwood speaks of Autumn
Now the time of rest is upon us, the great release. Countless leaves drifting to earth to feed the soil. They simply let go.
The time of great silence and sleep, of drawing inward, of low slanting sunlight, sweeping and intense, with no canopy of leaves to soften and filter the brightness. Shadows here in my home lengthen as the daylight grows shorter. I am ready once again for my long winters nap.
I have earned my rest as have all rooted things. We have once again shown you, given you the best that is within us, the season of leaf; millions, perhaps billions of leaves here in this small valley. We are the silent community that supports your very life here on this green planet. Blossoming, leafing out, shading you, blessing you with our gifts; pouring our woody hearts out as we grow toward the warm sun all summer.
We love you in spring fall winter, summer. Our love encircles and holds this earth together like our roots hold the soil You may think we cannot feel, but there you are mistaken. We thrive when you thrive! We are acutely attuned to the vibrations in all things, acutely attuned over eons to the shifting slanting light, moving southward day by day, the cooler air, the age old tale of love, the pulling inward, the sleep followed by new life, blossoming into fullness after a long rest once again.
I’m ready for the season of rest. I shed my leaves as easily as a drop of rain merges with the ocean. But one last shimmer of my crown before I bid you all a good night.
GCW speaks of cherry pickers, giant shredders and chainsaws.
It is well known that you humans wish to contain and control our treeish growth! See what huge, noisy, expensive equipment you need to maintain your illusion of dominance over our exuberant life force! Yes, you can trim and top, shape and prune, but our mandate from time immemorial is simply to grow, to take in as much sun, water and air as possible.
Your loud and jarring chainsaws do not harm or threaten us, for we will simply grow in another direction, reach farther, generate new and wider branches after this year’s chips have fallen. It is a game we like to play, you see. The game is called life! We will see you and your energy shredding chainsaws next year!
I delight in the fuss you humans make for us trees!
GCW, can you describe what will it feel like when someone sits at your roots or leans against your trunk?
If you are tuned in and aware, you will feel a sense of peace, like a soft blanket and a sense of being cared for and loved, recognized, wanted, accepted. It may feel as though your worries melt away and you are more relaxed. You will feel the magnetic energies of my existence drawing you to me for I love you! I delight in your being, I enjoy the exchange of energies between us.
Whether you know it or not, you are enveloped and held in this sweet bubble of my energy, and I am in yours. It is simply a gift of living on this earth in which all living things are made of energy and surrounded by their own bubble. They intersect, overlap, interweave, create amazing and beautiful patterns and play!
You are a gift to me when you come near. I feel the complex energies of you. In this way I feel that I know you on a deep level; beneath thought, beneath words, beneath appearances. Here we are one and can communicate and know each other.
When you allow yourself to tune in and exchange energies with me, we are enriched and refreshed. And I am HAPPY!
C of Urbandale, Iowa asks:
Q. Is the red oak in my back yard dead? I planted it a year ago.
A. Dear C, I will not tell you because then you would not discover your gifts as a tree and plant whisperer. You must discern this for yourself. Get yourself into a quiet state. Put your hands on your heart and breathe deeply. Let your awareness come into your body. Release thoughts.
Now stand near the tree and touch it if you like. Ask the question and allow the energy of the tree to answer you. You may hear words, see pictures, or simply know the truth deep within you. You may feel an emotion or feeling in your body.
Do this with other trees and garden plants near your home and the soil and grasses. Practice! All these living beings have tales to tell that will amaze and delight you! You must drop all doubt and skepticism, all fear of being seen as a kook or nut case. Those who label you have not the exquisite sensitivity, are not attuned to the frequencies of earth and plant spirits as you are!
Trust yourself! Practice your superpower! Enjoy
J of Ames, Iowa asks:
Q. What can I learn from you?
A. Can a lively woman full of energy, vigor, curiosity, passion and excitement for life learn from a tree? (I delight in my observation of you and your sparkling energy!)
I say yes! We can all learn from each other in this planet in which energies of every living thing are interwoven. All energies are one in the great web of all that is.
We appear so different. Those that classify and label things with your scientific accuracy, class you, a human woman, and me, a cottonwood tree at different ends of the spectrum of life forms – different branches on the cottonwood tree of life, so to speak. But we are both made of energy, energy that overlaps, interplays, affects the other.
Can you slow down enough- can you learn to tune into the tree energy of who I am? Can you feel the joy with which I exist? Can you feel the delight, the exuberance of my being as I reach for the sun with my branches and the core of the earth with my roots? Can you learn to tune into and communicate on a new frequency? Can you open to this foreign and perhaps woo woo experience? You will have the entire population of trees at your back as you do your powerful healing work.
Powerful energy and powerful new knowledge will flow through you. It will not take the form of words or thoughts. It will take the form of feelings and sensations and the flow of new energies.
You are a life long learner, and you will never be done learning, no matter how many lifetimes you live. Welcome to a new dimension for your exploration!
Tree as healer
D of Ames Iowa asks:
Q. Do trees help heal people?
A. Our energy is beneficial to you! Do you not feel better after hugging us, laying in our shade, climbing among our branches, walking nearby, watching the shifting patterns of sun and shade beneath our canopies, and swinging from a tree swing?
Our energy is powerfully aligned with earth and heaven. We stretch toward our sun, the source of nourishment and allow our roots to be pulled deep into the rich dark earth without the holding back, hiding, embarrassment, or fear that hold humans from their true power. When you come near us you are bathed in this delightful life giving, powerful energy. Many of you sensitive enough can feel this energy.
We do not pluck those in need of tree energy from the crowd and force a healing on them. We simply are who we are and whoever is drawn near benefits from the power that emanates from us without effort; simply by trees fulfilling our life purpose- to grow from our seeds and be who we are.
You may purposely align with our roots and trunk and crown. Breathe with us, feel the stretch in your middle as you lift your spine and head toward the sun and allow your roots to be pulled into the earth as if by a magnet. Merge your energies with us for awhile. Feel what we feel and know what we know. We are your friends. Feel it! Feel our love!
Allow the energies of your being to flow joyously, freely, happily! We love you humans and all living things. We delight in you!
Dear, Dear Grandmother Cottonwood, you have many broken branches and your crown is thinning. I dread to think of the end of your days some time soon.
My life force is strong and powerful as ever! I take delight in this existence, even more so, perhaps than a young sapling, for I have know all seasons, all weathers, all phases of growth and life. And still I delight, I take great pleasure in the sunlight feeding my shimmering crown, my magnificent structure, my admirable covering of thick back, protecting the soft heartwood of me. I delight in all creatures of the prairie and creek fringe that call this neighborhood home- the shiny black noisy crow, the fox, the vulture, the snake, the grasses, the milkweed, the mullein, the flying things with glassy or colorful wings that lift off and surrender their gossamer light bodies to the breeze.
Life! To be alive is my delight. To be the tallest among the community of trees and shelter all comers- this life feeds my soul and satisfies the deepest roots and heart of my being.
Even as you observe and worry about my age and my limited lifespan, I simply reach for the open sky and the core of the earth as is my reason for being. I am good at what I do!!! Until death comes, I delight in being fully alive! I take no notice of your human worry about what has not yet come to pass! Fretting, frowning, stopping up your hearts and blocking of your flow! That does not become you!
Trees like me, and all creatures live in the ever present now. You can do it too!