Monday, March 08, 2010


Almost all of the snow from the terrible winter of 2009/2010 is melted and it's possible to look around and assess the damage. Many of the trees here in the D.C. area, including lots of really ancient ones, took a terrible pounding from the snow. Trees such as hollies and magnolias, that keep their not-needle-like leaves and, thus, catch a lot of snow, were particularly hard hit, but they certainly weren't the only ones. Leyland Cypress, which were quite popular 15 to 20 ago as wind screens and privacy fences, fell over by the score. It's heartbreaking to see old friends with missing limbs, disfigured, broken. Yes, it's possible to see this winter's events as the same sort of "periodically necessary" pruning that forest fires perform out West. But that doesn't make my heart bleed much less for the five-story-high magnolia just down the street from my office that lost great big branches.

Here's one local witch's way of attempting to heal the hurt.

I stopped for a visit to Sligo Creek Park. I hadn’t visited in so long, and the bright sun reminded me of why I love that park. I walked to the bridge and paused to listen to the waters. I breathed deeply as I crossed the bridge; it felt like coming home.

And that is when I noticed all the damage. Several of the trees had lost branches; some had lost major limbs. It was devastating. One poor young tree had been split in two, exposing her delicate inner structure to the wind and the rain.

I paused at each wounded tree and expressed my deep sympathy and grief for its loss. Touching my hands where I could over the open wounds, connecting to the still living trunks, I expressed my hopes and prayers for recovery.

At the poor tree ripped asunder, I expressed my sorrow and I could feel her respond. I reminded her that her life was not over, as long as she could still feel her roots in the soil and take in nourishment from the sun and rain, she could still grow and thrive. I asked the older trees, especially those who themselves were wounded to tell this young tree about how life could continue. And to tell her especially that she would live not in spite of her wounding, but now more because of her wounds.

As I sat down to rest a bit before returning to my car, something broke apart inside of me. I suddenly felt all that had been wrenched away from me. I could see all my inner preciousness and vulnerabilities exposed to the elements. And just as suddenly I began sobbing. My poor shoulders were trembling with each wave of tears. As I sat in my misery, I suddenly heard voices. It was the trees repeating back to me all I said to comfort the youngest of them.

“You will live on not in spite of your wounding, but because of [it].”

Now a new wave of sobs erupted shaking my entire frame. I cried and cried until I didn’t even care who saw it. I cried until I no longer could hide my sadness or repress my grief.

Yeah, there was something going on in my heart. This wounded warrior was carrying a lot of unexpressed grief. Grief I now know that must be expressed and cared for in the now and not stored in my body.

As I left the park, I expressed my deep gratitude to the trees. And to all my healers and teachers, I say Namaste.

That's part of what we Witches mean when we talk about "being in relationship" with things like trees. It's not just a one-way transfer of energy; it's a, well, a relationship.

I see that Omega Center is offering a timely workshop on entering into relationship with trees.

Trees are generous beings. We appreciate their gifts of oxygen, inspiration, and healing. Let’s return the favor by becoming their healers and protectors.

When Tree Whispering™ experts Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander put their hands on trees, they feel bark, and also a bio-energy field of information and wonder. This weekend, they lead us to touch the majestic trees of Omega, experience growth energy, and take meditative journeys into trees’ inner dimensions.

We learn permission-based Green Centrics™ holistic energy healing methods from integrative medicine, ancient wisdom, faerie folklore, and new sciences in our approach to trees. We enjoy “coming from the tree’s point of view,” listening for messages with our intuition, and hands-on procedures.

In mindful—even sacred—ways, our interconnectedness deepens. While tree whispering, we shift and grow our very being in harmony with global transformations. In practical ways, garden chores become a respectful and cooperative partnership. Our trees at home will become healthier, and expectations for improving forest health multiply.

. . .

Jim Conroy, PhD in plant pathology from Purdue University, is The Tree Whisperer™. As founder of the Green Centrics™ system and president of Plant Health Alternatives, he heals, saves, and protects trees. A speaker, teacher, and certified organic land care professional, he has more than 25 years’ experience as a corporate executive.

Basia Alexander is an author, teacher, coach, and cocreative innovator
[/Sigh]. As founder of the Institute for Co-Creative Cooperation with NATURE, she advances widespread adoption of NATURE-Partnership concepts and practices.

If you're looking to deepen your relationship with the trees in your landbase, you could do worse than to pick one or two, spend time with them, learn about them, listen to what they whisper, and begin to whisper back.

Picture found here.


Liz said...

I (briefly) watched a documentary on the lumber industry in North America, when acres and acres were de-forested, ripped bare. It was an awful thing to see, and I could truly feel Mother's pain.

Morgaine said...

I live in the Pacific Northwest; we are surrounded by forests. And every time I pass a clear cut, it is like walking onto the site of a massacre. It is an immense sensation that has brought me to the ground more than once and I become physically ill often when visiting those sites. But, I still visit them -- because as you so eloquently pointed out, the roots are still nourishing life. Not the Great Ones as much as smaller life. And the good news is we do much less clear cutting.

Betty said...

I enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for sharing. I also appreciate trees and couldn't resist picking up a book called "PersonaliTrees". It's a coffee table book filled with trees depicting human emotions with perfectly matched inspirational quotations. It shows the photographers appreciation for her subjects.