As a child, I got comfort sitting in my tree fort. I didn’t realize I was benefiting from the wisdom of trees.
In my 20s, a tree spoke to me on my front steps of my apartment in Seattle.
I was minding my own business. I was busy being my angst-ridden self. As I sat on the steps and pondered the purpose of my life, a tree answered from across the street. I heard its voice inwardly, as if it spoke telepathically. Normally, I would have shrugged it off or thought it was my own mind, but it gave me a genuine sense of security and peace in that moment, and seemed so natural.
After that, any time I was sad or confused I went outside and listened. I spoke as well and felt a heavy load leave me as it answered all my questions inwardly. This continued for six months and then stopped. In hindsight, I think it stopped because I had begun to question the sanity of it, even though it kept me more sane by the peace that was transferred to me.
We know trees communicate with each other. There is plenty of research on this. (link here) Suzanne Simard has proven that trees are trying to help each other survive. They have fungi that help them do this. But it’s not just fungi. Science can measure the electrical impulses between trees now too. One article shows that trees’ “sense[s] and communication are measurable in very much the ways as are humans.” (holistic living)
The people of Findhorn in Scotland write about this communication of trees to humans as does Jen Ward and others.
A year ago out on a walk, I saw a baby Christmas tree on its side on the street. It was still planted in its green planter, and though it had a brown dried up branch, I saw green branches too. The owner was walking her dachshund as I passed by, so I asked her, “Are you getting rid of that tree?”
“It’s not doing well. You see the brown branches?”
“Do you mind if I take it?”
“Not at all. It’s in the trash.”
I brought it home and re-potted it in a ceramic pot. Within weeks, it grew wider and tall. Now, a year later, it needs a bigger pot. It’s seems grateful in its new home and has doubled in size. I look forward to putting it in my yard.
One of my favorite trees is a big old wide Banyan about two miles away. It must be 100 years old and about 30 or 40 feet wide. It sits at the base of a lake at a community, and I often sit on the bench next to it. I take my shoes off and put my feet on the ground near the tree. I feel closer this way—like we’re communicating through the earth.
I talk for five minutes about my life. I feel the angst and doubt float out into the tree who can process it like photosynthesis and spit back wisdom to me.
After, I listen.
I listen as this huge receptive tree speaks.
The old ones have great wisdom and the young ones have great joy. Many have both these qualities.
Next time you are down or anxious or have a question, try this. Go sit barefoot if you can next to a tree and listen or speak. Wait to see how you feel differently or if you get new ideas. You might be surprised. I always am.