of my best friends are trees.
I felt a strong affinity
toward grandfather tree, the first time we met. Battered, scarred,
burnt by lightning; we both have had rough pasts. I don't know
how old grandfather was, but when I reached my arms around to
hug him, they barely made it around the sides. His trunk bulged
where long ago a farmer had nailed barbed wire. The wire still
stuck out from under the scar. No longer attached to a fence,
it was a reminder that one could break free from boundaries, and
grow beyond the pain of the past.
I knew one day grandfather
would cross over. He had been through a lot. His large sturdy
roots could be seen clinging tightly to the cliff he precariously
stood at the very edge of. One evening we had storms, the kind
with large hail and strong tornado-spawning winds. We huddled
together under the stairs that night. The next morning I stepped
outside, looking forward to breathing in the freshly cleaned air,
and soaking up the sun in the cleared blue sky. There was a hole
in the horizon, where grandfather tree had stood.
Grandfather taught me to see the aura of the forest. At least
once a week, I would stand with him, to ground myself and to connect
with the universe. After greeting him and asking permission, I
would stand with my back against his trunk. I would close my eyes
and feel myself merge with him. I would feel my feet as though
they were roots, going down into the earth. I would feel the earth's
energy rise up, nourishing me, up through my feet, legs, body,
and out the top of my head. My upper body felt as if it were extending
up into the sky, bathing in the light. I would feel this light
energy come down through me, exiting deep into the earth. I could
feel the energy flowing through me, confirming that I am connected
with everything around me; we are part of one. In and through,
the energy buzzed as it flowed. When I would open my eyes I would
feel all tingly and renewed. One day, I opened my eyes, and I
could actually see the auras of the forest, undulating around
and between all the trees and plants.
Today I leave offerings,
where his twisted and sun-grayed stump remains. I call him 'spirit
tree'. The upper part of his trunk stretches across a ravine.
Animals, insects, and mushrooms are making him a home, as he slowly
crumbles into earth. Where now light reaches the forest floor,
new plants begin to grow. The sweet perfume of wild roses flirts
with the spicy masculine scent of sassafras.
After grandfather crossed over, I started looking for a new 'special'
I found the 'right' tree, I decided to visit the largest tree
in the woods, the tree who appeared to stand guardian over the
rest. I went up to the tree and asked permission to lean against
it, but felt a distance, as if it said 'No. That is not my purpose'.
This tree was clearly not a tree to assist me, neither in healing
nor in exchanging and building energies. Each day I pass around
it, and give it my respect.
Then I began visiting
a grand old maple, I call 'grandmother' tree. Grandmother is so
welcoming! If I quiet my mind, she will speak to me in a soft
still my child", she says this morning, as I am about to
move on, continuing my daily early morning hike through the woods.
I lay my head against her massive trunk, and close my eyes. I
find comfort in the scent of the decaying leaves at her feet.
"Listen" she whispers. I hear the wind rustle the leaves.
In the distance I hear the rapid low rat-a-tat-tat of woodpeckers,
the haunting call of a hawk. Above, in her branches smaller birds
are fluttering. Two squirrels chatter with each other. "Now"
she says. I open my eyes, and just twenty feet away are two white-tailed
deer. I am invisible to them! Had I gone on as planned, I would
have missed watching them as they grazed up and down the hills
and back again to nuzzle each other. A movement near my face,
ants! Lots and lots of tiny ants, but they are walking right by,
like I'm not there. Grandmother is home to all. "Now you
may go" she gently nudges. I turn to leave, feeling as though
I had been in a trance where time had stopped completely. I look
down so as not to step on a branch that might crack, signaling
a warning to the deer. There at my feet lies a large black feather.
A sign to me which says, of course this was a real conversation!
Grandmother has much to teach.
I did eventually discover
the 'healing tree’ that was meant for me. I never would
have chosen this unassuming and relatively young tree. I have
walked by it, time and time again, but never paid it much notice…
until I saw the faint scar, which that day jumped out at me –
a scar in the same shape as my totem animal. I asked permission
to stand with the tree, and felt the same 'buzzing' feeling I
used to feel with grandfather. As I looked up, I saw how very
alive and vigorous it is. Thousands of new branches sprout, all
up and down the trunk. The tree seems so radiant, I must have
been sleepwalking right by it all this time!
my friends I feel alive, renewed, and vibrating with energy. What
a beautiful way to start the day!
Betson has been a student of 'all things metaphysical' since her
childhood, in the 60's. She lives, creates, and gardens, in her
home in the woods, with her husband of almost 20 years, and their
began as an artist, tarot reader, and psychic. Through the process
of healing her self, and with the help of her spirit guides and
the universe, she found her life taking an unexpected path, that
of a spiritual "healer". Word of mouth has allowed her
to distantly assist others from around the world, through shamanic
journeys, energy healings, and tarot readings. http://www.geocities.com/toriastarot/.
also writes blogs for www.HealthyNewAge.com and some of her other
articles may be found at www.saskworld.com.