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 Presence

Trees can teach presence. We stand tall in our light, rooted and strong, mighty, magnificent, stretching tall and wide.

We have no need to call attention to ourselves, brag or boast, to advertise or hire publicity. We simply own who we are, each according to the pattern of our ancestors encoded in our seeds.

Grandmother Cottonwood

We stand in the light of our true natures, quietly spreading our branches and fronds. If you notice us and pay attention, you will be amazed by our strong powerful presence, our upright nature, our interweaving branches and powerful anchoring roots.

Do not take us for granted! We are your allies, your friends, your silent companions. We endure, living our lives with dignity and grace. We shelter your world.

Dear ones, when you want to learn to be present in your body, present to the fullness of life, to fully inhabit yourself, the trees will show you how.

We are fully present here and now in this vast carnival of life on Earth.

Message from a tree

Stop awhile on your hike, your walk to work or school, lean against my trunk, absorb my loving energy. I have much to give.

I share my strength, my shade, my beauty with you. You can trust my solidity. My roots anchor me securely. I will not wobble or fall, back away or collapse as you lean your full weight against me. I am here for you, a sure presence.

Grandmother Cottonwood

I share my loving energy with you. What you might call my love is all encompassing. It does not question or expect or judge, it simply radiates like joy from the core of my being, embracing and enriching and interweaving with the entire web of life.

I share my tree wisdom with you. I have weathered many storms, many cold winters, droughts, floods, beating summer suns, loss of limbs, nearby construction projects that have felled many of my companion trees, yet I endure and thrive. I continue to send my roots into the earth for nourishment and reach my branches to the light life-giving sunlight.

Hackberry bark

Those of you who pay attention with your heart and your 5 senses can learn from the trees. You might learn patience in the face of change. You might learn endurance in all seasons, all weather conditions, You might discover a new way to think about unconditional love.

You might learn that to be strong and stable you must develop deep roots and connect with Earth energy. You might learn how to gracefully claim and take up the space that is yours and spread your branches to the light, because it is your birthright.

You can learn much from a tree. Trust, root deep, love, endure.

Three worlds

I, Grandmother Cottonwood, am a magnificent tree. I live in three worlds.

My roots reach deeply into the lower world, pulled by gravity , the magnetic pull of Earth’s core. My roots draw in nourishment and water and all earth elements needed to feed me.

This is the zone of magic, of power, of earthy energies and animal spirits, of ancient knowledge, of survival on this planet. This is the region of Earth wisdom that will feed your souls.

The wisdom of the lower world has been accumulated over millennia from the time our Earth was a swirling mass of gasses, even before life took hold.

All myths, legends, all ancient wisdom resides here. You can tap into their power and richness. They will feed and fuel your growth. As my roots feed me.

I am rooted to the Earth

GCW root zone

My magnificent trunk and large limbs reside in the middle world, the spiritual aspect of the created world. Here I weather storms, bake under a hot summer sun, rest in winter, scatter my seeds in spring. Here I age and witness tired old limbs fall to the earth and others thrive and come into leaf.

I witness my bark growing thicker and tougher each year. I interweave branches and roots with the sycamores, the hack-berries, the thorny locusts, the grasses, the nearby cottonwoods.

Here I interact with the energy, the spirits of those who walk by or who lean against me, those who give me tree hugs.

Our spirits are all one here. All living beings are connected through our invisible energies. Our spirits interweave and overlap whether we know it or not. We communicate and understand each other. Human, plant, animal, insect, Earth.

As a living being on planet Earth, my awareness is centered in my physical reality in this place and time

I am centered in my body.

Grandmother Cottonwood

My smaller branches and tiny twigs, my growing tips and buds, my fine crown of leaves reside in the upper world. This is a place of expansion, of light, of growth, a place of miracles of divine wisdom and divine energies. This is the realm of spirit, of your higher self.

Here the sunlight touches my leaves fueling their growth as they absorb the life giving light. My crown brings the amazing energies of the divine down from the heavens into my body to keep life alive. I reach to the sun, my source of power. I am whole and complete

I am aligned with divine light.

Grandmother Cottonwood in fall

I am rooted to the Earth. I am centered in my body. I am aligned with divine light.