Friday, September 17, 2010

Connecting with Trees

Tree Shadows - translated from Japanese

All hushed the trees are waiting
On tiptoe for the sight
Of moonrise shedding splendour
Across the dusk of night
Ah, now the moon is risen
And lo, without a sound
The trees all write their welcome
Far along the ground

I recently watched a documentary on KCTS explaining the history of the Appalachian mountain regions. It was titled "Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People". One of the things that I got from this beautiful story was the strong sense of connection the early settlers had to their surroundings. There was a respect for the land, including her mountains (there are hundreds of named mountaintops in this region, all with a story), trees (including one tree that was nearly put into extinction by an imported tree of the same name), rivers, streams and of course - the earth itself. These people understood that trees, especially, offered so much to them in terms of food, protection and more.

I love trees. I think we all do, because they offer a kinship. And a connection to the deepest parts of Earth, through roots that plunge into depths we couldn't reach on our own. When we lean on a tree, we can feel that connection very strongly. There is nothing quite so grounding as leaning on a tree, allowing that tree to support us, to remove negative energy, to drain away tension and anxiety and sadness. When I see large roots surfacing to the ground I walk on, I see it as a great gift. The roots of trees remind me of veins and arteries, carrying lifeblood from the light of day down into the depths of our beautiful planet. Where this energy can be cleansed, and where seeds can be sown for later, drawing strength over time, and gaining ancient knowledge to be used at exactly the right moment. There is no greater incubator for such things than our dark, moist and feminine earth.

I find it interesting that trees announce themselves each season as well, constantly reminding us of their importance to the nature of our world. They reflect our own nature as well ... leaves transforming before falling from the tree, preparing for winter. The dormant, introverted process of winter. The burst of energy and colour in the spring. The bold and boisterous, celebrating green of summer. It all reflects our humanity in some way.

And so, now and then, take the time to appreciate a tree. Sit at its' base, gaze lovingly at one, hug one, decorate one ... allow yourself to feel your roots extending into the center of the earth - grounding you, teaching you, understanding you. Draw on the ancient wisdom of the great tree ... one of our great teachers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Balance is something many of us strive for, and many of us never achieve. If every day we are struggling to: eat well, sleep well, be good parents, work hard, exercise, pick up the mail, go to the bank, do the laundry, do the dishes, cook the meals, AND schedule some time for spiritual, creative or intellectual pursuits ... Do you think you should beat yourself up at the end of each day wondering if you "achieved" balance?

What is Balance? Is it fair to ever think that Balance is something we can have? If your life is not balanced, is it chaotic instead? And why do we think that Balance should be the focus of our lives? Is it ever okay to throw up your hands and say "f*%k it!" and live in the moment? What would happen if we could all pass on the responsibility for worry to our spirit guides, angels and others?

Is it possible that there is a natural balance to everything? Most cultures and religions believe that there is, of course: Yin and Yang, Good and Evil, earthly and spiritual. Perhaps this natural balance takes it's form in ways we don't think about, such as:

~ work being spiritual in nature
~ washing our hands as a form of prayer
~ the smile you give a stranger as an offering
~ comforting a sister as invoking Goddess nature
~ holding your child's hand as an expression of Godliness
~ exercising patience as a form of meditation

When you embody your true self in love, and you surrender yourself to the natural order of things, you can truly have the opportunity to experience your life in balance. Living in the moment, breathing in each breath of your life with your natural awareness, maybe you will begin to live your life. When life gets hectic, and your guilt starts to build over what you haven't done, take a deep breath and let it go ... or say F*#k It!! (Whatever works). Perhaps it won't feel like balance, but you might feel instead a true inner happiness, rather than a feeling of dread as you go over the checklist of your life.