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The Wisdom of Trees

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Inspiration lifts my heart. I feel alive around nature. I wonder why. When I’m stuck in a room day after day, I find solace looking out the window at the plants growing and the flowers blooming and the birds flying and the clouds moving.


Sharing my space with another living being brings comfort. Plants bring me comfort. Birds on the feeder bring me comfort. Looking into a beloved pet’s eyes bring me comfort.


I share my space with trees. They bring me comfort. I think how easily we adopt pets forgetting how different they are from us humans. Four legs. Their diet is different. Their language is different. Their humor is different. And they sense and trust.


Trees are the same. We can’t own them as pets but they are alive. They are friends. They stand as witnesses to daily life, the comings and goings, to weather, to dreadful news, to celebrations, to life. They exist in our living world breathing the way they breathe. Finding nourishment and sustenance. They are teachers. They grow. They die.


I had tree friends while living in Long Beach, California. I visited them daily, talking and sharing, blessing and caring. Close encounters with trees are sacred for their language is deep.

On this day I was shaken from a gang shooting. I heard the shots at night not knowing the loss. On my walk I approached my sacred tree with an intent to feel its presence, know its strength and accept its wisdom.

Something has to calm me down. I walked up to the tree, turned my back and leaned on its elephant-skin bark and closed my eyes.

I pray to the earth, moon and sun; let this tree be the one that helps us through the strife that is present in our lives.

Let the mournful wind blow and tempers flaring below remember the beauty of this tree and what sets us free for it holds the ultimate expression of love in its majestic presence above, ever reaching to the sun as it knows it is our appointed one to help us hold our strength through the hate and blame that holds so many in its claim.

Our key to freedom from the pain will grow as we gain insight into the priorities in life, that love and respect has to replace the hatred and rage of all races.

Let each one of us find the courage to face our fear and hate; find a glimmer of hope and know all it takes is the wanting to grow and searching inside for the strength to know all it takes is a decision within to walk away and find help to begin the steps to make a life of good; taking steps to fill yourself with respect and love that you’ve always deserved but never found until you learned the spark is inside you.

It can only be ignited by you.

It’s within your heart that you hold the key to your happiness and freedom from your pain.

Find the role models that you idealize underneath all your fear and judgment.

You take one step towards the light and the universe will help with the other step. Learn to trust yourself and work for the good.


Participants’ Reflections:

  • That was an incredible message from the tree. The connectedness, the point about we each hold the key to our own happiness and freedom from pain. I know trees are connected. And we too can be.

  • In a drought, trees’ circulation reverses and they share moisture with their neighbors.

  • The reading reminds me about violence and how I have to calm myself down in its face. That fight or flight thing. My son is moving and I am sad. In the past, I used to manipulate people out of fear. This time, I just showed up instead, and supported him. I got wonderful feedback. When I am wishing things to go a certain way, it is best if I go with the flow and act out of love.

  • I hike by a tree every morning, it’s huge and old. It reminds me of book I read as a child. “The Tree by the Trail.” In the book, we saw all the tree witnessed, all the people and events that went on. Like this tree. After a storm, I worry it won’t be there so I go check. It is so comforting.

  • What I can’t control, I let go. A few days ago, we talked about pause and reflect (see July 1 blog post). My gym is opening up, but I have decided to pause and not go. It’s not worth the risk to my health.

  • Trying to stay in the day is important. No matter what us going on. Enjoy the trees, I enjoy sketching them. They encapsulate moods, they are guardians, with strength. It’s sad when they fall. I write and draw all day. It helps me what I read this morning:

Just for today, I will not be afraid, especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and believe that, as I give to the world, so the world will give back to me.
  • I have two cats that were on the wild side when rescued. Mostly subdued now. One is so alert today, running around, probably from absorbing the energy of the thunderstorms and fireworks. It reminded me of a moment at the zoo with my son. There was a male lion, no one was around. The lion’s presence was fully alert with lots of energy. I felt protected by it. When things get hard, I want to bury my head in the sand. Cats teach me to stay awake and alert.

  • I liked the words “learn to trust self.” I wrote it down because I struggle with that. I trust myself but I have self-doubt. I need to know everything will be okay, even if it doesn’t go the way I want them to go. I argue with my daughter and when I do, I feel the unpleasant reaction in me. But I know she will leave someday and I will miss her.

  • You are taking time and space. It’s layers of an onion. Deep down there are more things to work on.

  • I didn’t talk to my son for 2 years. Love and patience helped. We are fine now. For 30 years, I’ve been raising butterflies and moths. I appreciate nature, I see survival strategies. Amazing.

  • Grateful to be here. Every part of nature is a gift to us.

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