Have you ever stopped to look at a tree? I mean really truly take a moment to run your hand down the stem, caress the bark? You should. When I was in a special out door High-school we went on a camping trip and one of the head teachers asked us to take a moment to go and sit by a tree and listen to what it had to say. I didn’t really understand that what he wanted us to do was sit and listen and see what came to mind. – I actually never finished the assignment. One student came up with a story about all the things his tree had seen in it’s lifetime.
Take a look at this image here – these rings represent all the years that this particular tree was on this earth before it was taken down. Trees in the art of the craft are considered “Sentient Beings”. They are among some of the oldest living life forms in existence and yet how often can you honestly say you take the time to look, really truly look at a tree? Probably not often. I understand because until last night I didn’t either. Not really.
Last night I had this undeniable “urge” to go for a walk to Green Timbers Urban Forest. I don’t often go there at night because well it’s dark and scary as hell but last night it was like something was pulling me…so I followed the urge.
I ended up getting lost in the woods – a forest that lays in the center of my city and although I was totally waiting for a serial killer to come and rip my throat out and do ungodly acts I admit it was a spiritual experience.
I ended up talking to myself – as humans do when lost in a dark scary forest. And I came to realize the day before with my new friend Patrick (That I still have yet to hear from) had a truly profound affect on me. I started talking about the things I wanted as a child – I started thinking about how little those things mattered now – how far away it seemed. Mostly it was an excuse to distract me from the darkness but also it was helping me to understand myself better.
As a child the only thing I wanted to do was grow up, get married, be a wife and a mother. I have spent more than twenty years wondering why I had to suffer so much – why I had to go through being abused and bullied beaten down and broken a part. I always knew I was strong because you have to be strong in order to deal with the kinds of things I have been through.
It wasn’t until last night however that I actually took the time to realize that I asked for everything I have received.
For years I have been praying for Strength, for Wisdom, for Love. I never stopped to think that by praying for strength I was really praying for the universe to show me how strong I am. When asking for Wisdom I was asking for the Universe to teach me life lessons I could pass on to others. When asking for Love I was asking to learn to love myself.
These were not easy lessons – they came with pain, and suffering, in some cases thoughts of anger and rage and suicide but they are lessons I asked for.
There was a moment when I stopped at a tree…it was at least a hundred feet tall. There was a small path on either side of this tree, and then there were hundreds of more trees surrounding it. When I looked up, I was standing under a canopy of Timber Trees.
Something magical, truly and completely utterly magical happened when I looked up and realized how many years these trees had been on this earth. When I stopped to consider all they had seen, all the stories they would share if they had the ability to communicate with us in a way we would understand. Suddenly not one of my problems seemed to matter any more.
It didn’t matter that 24 hours before I said goodbye to a woman I loved because our lives are going in such different directions – it didn’t matter that I had once been in an abusive relationship with a man she calls family or that she had to do what she had to do in order to defend her family and support the ones she loves.
It didn’t matter that I don’t have a job or that I have 0 idea what’s coming next. When I look up at these trees and consider that some of them have been alive filling our world with air and asking for nothing in return for over 300 years in some cases – my problems just seem to no longer matter.
It’s not much but it’s an anchor. It’s a reminder that the world is much bigger than myself – that my problems, many of them 1st world issues – are not the biggest or scariest things in the world. It’s a reminder that if something as simple as a tree can survive 300 or more years of the human race, I can deal with losing friends and not being the richest or most beautiful or most successful woman in their 30’s.
Life sometimes gets us down and we forget that the world is much bigger than just us – I don’t really know what I am supposed to do with this new knowledge but I can genuinely feel myself getting back in touch with my own spirituality again and with myself and that’s an amazing feeling.
So the next time you think your world is ending and there’s nothing you can do about it, maybe close your eyes, take a deep breath and listen. Listen to the sound of the sky knocking, the sound of the trees waving in the wind while they say hello. Listen to the world around you because that tiny voice inside your head might be saying exactly what you need to hear.
Let me know what your “Tree” says to you. I’d love to hear about it.
All my love,
SynDolly aka Devon Hall takes no responsibility for you being dumb (like she was) and going out in the dark by yourself to a big scary forest where you most certainly will become the victim of a homicidal lunatic who will hang your body from a large 300 foot tall Timber Tree. So please. Do not follow this exact example. KthanxBai.