Wisdom of the Wood


When the trees came to me deep in the night, I listened while my mind slumbered...

With my soul did they speak of long adventures in past epochs, distant memories transcribed on our cells of relationships which could never be rent asunder.

We walk this world in separate bodies, along the same desired path - learning how to be in the many ways there are in this world.

Trees know of plants and soil; what it is like to make sugar of sunlight. To offer sustenance to others by way of bark, fruit, and medicine, be struck by lightning, go dormant in winter to rise again in spring. To stand tall in the wind and scatter seeds, then willow away at the end of life, chipping off slowly, returning to soil.

They wonder what it is like to be human…to understand how tears mean both deep sorrow and great joy. How is it that the water rises in our bodies and moves in and out through orifices so vastly different from theirs? What it is like to feel their bark with our tender fingertips, and to smell their spring blossoms lingering in the air? How does one move about the world on feet, above the soil, standing on the earth, rather than in? They are grateful for our out-breath.

They show me our breaths moving in ancient rhythm with one another, sharing molecules and knowledge in tiny, intricate particles, exchanging sequences of chemistry in water and light.

This sacred exchange has been so for the whole of humanhood. It was their idea, to share the wisdom of the wood with the heart of the human, beating as one through shared breath. To learn and live in tandem transference of being-ness for mutual understanding and shared delight. To shoulder responsibility and share grief. To know the expanse of centuries and the abruptness of a moment. To weather storms in many forms and survive breaks, being uprooted, and learn to adapt. To experience and share the bounty of this world, then die and return to soil to nourish the next generations, as all bodies do. It is our natural heritage to be of the trees.

They wonder if we remember. Do we know how to follow our breath to interpret their codes and tap into their wisdom? They see more of us lately, but our breath is shallow and tense, and it’s hard for them to understand us, like we’re muffled…perhaps it’s the masks?

They offer this: we may bring them our tears so that they can know what’s in our hearts through our water. If we cannot offer them the deep breaths of wonder and joy or sighs of relief under their canopy, they can receive what they need through our water. 

It will not always be this way, they say. We will remember when we let go.

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