Being Blessed by Trees

10-blessed-by-tree

The whole life of these trees is to serve.

With their leaves, flowers, fruits, branches,

roots, shade, fragrance, sap, bark, wood,

and finally even their ashes and coal,

they exist for the purpose of others.

~ Srimad Bhagavatam

One of my favorite memories growing up occurred when I was about 8 years old. I had just climbed up to the very top of the tall tree in our front yard one day — when a storm front began sweeping across our neighborhood. It began raining very hard and a strong, warm wind was also blowing. I was in heaven at the top of that tree as it gently swayed 5-10 feet back and forth high in the air for well over an hour. I can still connect with the exquisite oneness I experienced that day as time disappeared. Of course, from that day forward that tree became a dear friend of mine.

This memory, and the gorgeous photograph above, reminds me of my love for trees as vibrant givers and teachers of life. One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, captures her reverence for the wisdom of trees in the following poem:

CAN YOU IMAGINE?

by Mary Oliver

For example, what the trees do
not only in lightening storms
or the watery dark of a summer’s night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now – whenever
we’re not looking. Surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit — surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.

Although I usually send one poem each week, the trees themselves insist that I share another one of their favorites:

WHEN I AM AMONG TREES

by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”

Blessings of peace to your own rich memories of times spent in awe of nature in all its extraordinary, healing forms.

In Love, Gavin

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Your Comments

  1. October 20, 2009

    “Bloom where you are planted.” Trees do that so beautifully.

    I agree with Bhagavatam that trees serve others. But the lush red maple outside my office reminds me that, like the cows that share their milk with our children, the trees exist for their own purposes as well.

    My maple friend points out the joy of feeling the breeze with the tops of her leaves, and then turning each leaf to feel the damp pre-storm breeze with their undersides. She speaks of the tickling feet of squirrels and the delight of having her ‘itch’ scratched by the wood-pecker who removes the bugs she can’t reach. She reminds me that humans have no idea of the conversation she shares with her friends through the root network and the groundwater system.

    She asks me to tell you and the poet that her consciousness and self-awareness, while qualitatively different from ours, is no less valuable, no less important, and no less present.

    Much love and light and laughter to the poets whose work you have shared, and to you, Dear One.

  2. Gavin Frye says:

    October 22, 2009

    Dear Maggie: what a rich pleasure receiving your thoughtful reflections upon our dear friends, the trees. I hear you loud and clear, and am reminded of the Lord of the Rings series where the trees step forward and risk their lives for others — and it is clear they are doing this for themselves, as a noble act of awareness and love. I am also reminded of the words of David Whyte, reminding us that nature in all its wonderful forms is truly not there for us, but is glorious of its own accord — and would do fine with or without us on the planet. WE are the fortunate visitors, just one of many species and beings and presences on this planet — certainly not the center of this planet’s existence — and when we have the awe and humility to remember this we open ourselves to blessings beyond measure. Thank you again for your reminder of this truth.

    Blessings of peace your way, Maggie, Gavin

  3. By accident I discovered this beautiful website while looking for a reference to one of Mary Oliver’s poems. After spending a while soaking in the beauty of tree energy, it occurs to my that in truth it is synchronicity that led me here. What a joyous interruption of a busy day to find myself in a wondrous place created by sensitive Tree People. What fun to find others who communicate with trees and understand the precious role they have on our planet. Many blessings. Betty

  4. Danielle says:

    Found this by accident. Thank you so much for sharing. Who knew such kindred spirits could connect over the internet?

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