Trees and humans

We trees are changed by you, and you by us.

For millennia you have planted and cultivated and set aside special places for trees. You have designated places where no trees are to grow.

You have chosen and honored your favorite species, grubbed out those you dislike, created monocultures, plantations, tree farms, windbreaks, planted us in your neighborhoods for beauty stability, shade, shelter, food, fruit nuts, perhaps even companionship. You’ve introduced us into new habitats and climates.

Summer tree sunlight and shade

You have benefited from our giving natures, our need to grow in harmony with the earth and her creatures, our fruit and our nuts, the resilient building materials, the clean air and rich soil we bequeath you, fed by our decaying leaves, needles, fronds, the deep shade in summer, the home for birds and beneficial insects.

We populate your art, play roles in your legends and myths. We inspire your minds with our deep strong roots, our limbs reaching to heaven, our silver and green leaves soaking in sunlight, our friendly and loving energy, our deeply cut and protective bark.

Humans are changed by trees. You gather in our shade, go to lengths to plant and tend us, nurturing our growth with the patience of decades and generations, seeking our shelter, comforted by our beauty, choosing to live on tree lined streets and boulevards, take inspiration from our mighty old growth forests and find peace in our cool green woods. You seek out the graceful shelter of our interwoven branches and the comfort of our shade to cool your homes in summer.

Shade dappled tree

Trees give humans a model for how to live on this planet in body and spirit – rooted to the Earth, awareness centered in the body, branches reaching to sunlight and stars-

A bridge between heaven and Earth

Trees and Patience

As trees, we must practice patience. We begin humbly, as a tiny fragile looking seed finding a home in the soil where conditions for life and future growth exist- moisture, light air soil, warmth… the sense of home and belonging.

Silver Maple seeds

Here our first roots unroll toward earths’ magnetic pull. Our precious seed leaves burst out and open, stretching to the light. This is our home for life, this patch of soil and sun.

We are settled here. We are content and patient in the place chance has chosen for us. We live lives of endurance, growing slowly year by year adding height and girth, our bark expanding and thickening.

Hackberry bark

We practice patience as our new green branches turn woody in months gaining in strength and size over the years. We stand tall according to our nature, we soak in light, pull in nutrients and moisture from the soil, feeding ourselves, providing homes for birds and insects, wildlife, tiny mammals, mosses, lichen. We do this for decade upon decade.

For generations, for lifetimes we thrive and survive.

You might consider us to be miracles! From fragile seedlings to magnificent mature trees, we have a strong will to live and endure, to take up the space we need, to soak in our share of sunshine and pull in the sustenance we need from the Earth.

We patiently endure droughts, torrential rains, lightening, storms, extreme cold and wilting heat. Year after year we patiently adapt to the conditions of our environment. Sometimes these conditions cause stress and then we benefit from your care concern and attention.

Trees and storm clouds

We are the calm green backdrop to your lives, providers of cooling shade, beautifying your neighborhoods and landscapes, holding the soil, clearing the air, sheltering your farms towns and and cities, greening your cemeteries, ranging over mountains and ringing lakes.

We lovingly watch your children grow from infants to adults, we witness with affection the growth and development of your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We can show you what patience is.

Let Nature Calm You

Can you go outside right now? Let the sounds of nature calm you- birdsong, breeze through evergreens, squirrels chuffing chattering and chewing on last fall’s nuts, water rushing downstream…

Red squirrel

Let the sights of nature bring you joy – sunlight pooling and dancing on the earth, trees casting long undulating shadows, spring blooms bursting out, green and red shoots poking out of the ground, birds flashing in and out of the underbrush, red and rust colored cardinals, bluejays goldfinches, robins sparrows, butterflies, moths, bees…

Let the smells and fragrances of new grass, fresh cut greenery, flowering spring bulbs, decaying leaves, tender soft green leaves, a sudden spring rain shower lift your spirits.

Be mindful of the feel of rough tree bark, soft feathers, tender new growth, the textured stems of shrubs, smooth or rough stones. If you can, put your hand in a clear stream, and gently stir and move the cool water. Feel the solid earth beneath your body, under your feet.

Let the tastes of simple foods that come from the earth nourish your body and bring you satisfaction – the sharp and rooty onions, peppery radishes, sweet sugary pea sprouts, the earthy potatoes and other root vegetables, the subtle lettuce, chewy chard… Savor and enjoy these everyday pleasures.

Must you stay inside right now? Find natural objects in your home or have a loved one find something nearby that will infuse your space with energy of nature.

Shells, plants, growing sprouts and herbs, photos and paintings of trees, landscapes, specimens of tree bark, flowering branches, stones of all shapes & colors – stack them up – sand in a bottle, potted bulbs, beautiful wooden carvings and objects, a small terrarium.

Arrange and display these things you’ve collected over the years, touch and enjoy them again, use them in new ways that will spark your creativity. Connect with these objects and precious living things that hold the energy of your true home, mother Earth.

Let nature heal and calm and give you peace.

Reflections

I see and feel failing ash trees. They are losing vitality, declining and dying as an out-of-control insect invades and destroys with no boundaries, no sense that when it kills the host trees it will no longer be able to survive.

This insect survives now, but will ultimately destroy its own home and food supply.

Dead tree

This is nature reflecting the human state of mind and state of health. This no boundaries, destroy everything in your path dynamic takes place on a global scale, as Humans declare war on others and destroy their own habitat with little regard for the long term consequences.

Nature also reflects the human state of mind in the weather…

Do you store up toxic and stormy emotions in your personal atmosphere, letting them build into cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes of tantrums and violence? Are you or those in your family or city easily triggered into fury?

I’m here to tell you that you can clear yourselves and release the clouds as they accumulate and before they become heavy and ominous with many layers of fear and anger.

Heavy clouds

You can learn to calm and clear yourself before the emotional storms overtake you. Ask for help if it feels too difficult, too overwhelming.

Yes, I understand you don’t want to… think you can’t… prefer to be in denial… don’t want to do the work… are scared to do it…don’t have the money…don’t have the time…insert your habitual excuse here…

Let me tell you that your healing matters not only to you, but to your family, your city, your planet. The actions you take, the decisions you make will affect and reflect in our Earth for years to come.

Will you choose healing, or will you choose to be paralyzed by fear?

When you are able to face the facts and difficulties in your life head on, with courage and tenacity, when you are able to clear and heal your emotions and learn to deal with them in a healthy way, your life will improve dramatically, your health will improve, you will begin to love your life once again!

Message from Grandmother Cottonwood

The Earth and those around you will reflect your new clarity and health!

Heal yourself, Heal the Earth.