Friday, September 16, 2011

Tree Talkin'

"Waking Planet Flag in the Forest"                                                         B Upton
In my post, "Childhood Aha! Moments" I spoke of an early memory that has helped shape my worldview today.

I was about 7 or 8 and playing outside alone, as was usual for me, being an only child and not allowed to venture far. So maybe it wasn't surprising that I found my companions in nature. The wind was blowing and whistling through the giant elms overhead. As I looked up I had the distinct impression that the trees were talking to me! I remember feeling very comfortable "talking" to the trees. It seemed they understood and loved me unconditionally and I them! I can't remember specifically how these conversations went, but I was happy to have such powerful friends.

"Sacred Pond"                                                                                         B Upton
"Yellow Fall"                                   B Upton
I have had a love affair with trees and all of wondrous nature ever since.

The other day my 8 year old grandson said, "Grandma do you know that the trees exhale oxygen that we need to breathe in? And that they breathe in the carbon dioxide that we breathe out- isn't that amazing?" Yes it is. In addition to being beautiful, providing habitat for birds and animals, wood for our shelter and warmth, fruits, nuts and shade, trees anchor the soil, conserve water and act as the lungs of our planet.

Trees effect us on deep levels. Studies have shown that trees near homes can boost concentration, calm people, reduce ADHD in children, help people heal faster, strengthen communities and even reduce domestic violence!
"Red Trees and Pink Barn"                                                                       B Upton
"Tree by the Ocean"                                                                                           B Upton

"Magical Opening"                           B Upton

We can draw on the strength and endurance of trees in meditations. Like trees, we can become the intermediaries between the earth and heavens; the physical and the spiritual. For a short, guided meditation that will help to restore and calm you, try the Silk Cotton Tree Meditation.

And of course, I highly recommend hugging trees! Let your heart pick one out. Approach it slowly with respect. Touch its bark, breathe in its scent and the fresh air it creates. Look at the beautiful canopy overhead. Then press your heart next to the tree and wrap your arms around it and feel the pulse of life in the tree merge with yours. Allow its strength and steadfastness to fill you. Give thanks for its power and  beauty. And don't forget to talk to the tree (you can do so silently). They are very good listeners!


Shirley said...

Beautiful photos and words, Barb.
I really like the little hole in the tree. I want to build a tiny house there!

Barbara Upton said...

Thanks Shirley!!

Badass Nature Girl said...

I have a special tree in the side yard, and I went out yesterday and talked to it, touched it, etc. I didn't hug it though, at least not physically, but did so in my mind. I love trees too and my mother said she couldn't keep me out of them as a child. I remember feeling like the trees were wrapping their arms around me while I was sitting on a branch. I always felt so loved and safe.

Unknown said...

Makes me want to hug a tree right away ... or maybe after the rain :)

Barbara Upton said...

So Heather, trees have been lovingly hugging you since you were a child - I think you should return the favor!<3

Barbara Upton said...

That's supposed to be a heart! Many hearts to all!