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.


  1. Such a delicate poem. Thanks for this beauty. I particularly like this, " 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." The trees are our allies, our connection to our mother. To think that all the roots of the trees are all interconnected, supporting each other and the earth is a powerful metaphor.

    Powerful post, Nicole. I will have to come back and read this again. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Miruh! I can really see what it would look like, the roots of the trees all being interconnected .... Thank you.

  3. Incredible post, Nicole! Really! Your writing is just getting better and better...your muse is truly right by your side.

    Trees helped me through my last divorce. I lived in a forest and every morning I would walk the trails and tell the trees everything. There was a tree right by the trail...a big old cedar tree...and that tree took more of my angst, then cleansing all the emotion...than I care to remember. It felt so good to hug that old tree and I miss him still, he was so tall, strong and upright! His spirit is still with me.

    Trees are such powerful allies. I have still to find my special tree here on this property, although out of so many, I know there is one.

  4. Marion: Thank you for always encouraging my writing. It means a lot when you tell me that my writing is getting better! I do feel my muse by my side ... and sometimes am tempted to ask questions ... but then remember to just let her be who she is. She'll give what she wants to give.

    As for one special tree ... I love Miruh's comment "To think that all the roots of the trees are all interconnected, supporting each other and the earth is a powerful metaphor". I cannot get that visualization out of my mind. All trees are connected. Hug one and you hug em all!!

  5. I love this poem. I have been looking for it because several years ago I wrote a melody for it and am now including it on the cd of lullabies that I'm recording. I'm hoping to give credit to the correct author. It comes from Japanese, that is clear. Do you know any more about its origins? Thank you!

    1. As far as I know, the author is Anonymous ... I did research it on the internet quite a bit, as I wanted to give credit to the author as well.