Talks with Trees

This picture reminds me so much of one of my old tree friends from many years ago

Maybe if I had a Native American Indian name, it would be “Talks With Trees”.

I really can’t blame some of you who might think I’m a little bit off my rocker talking with trees.

Frankly, I’d have thought the same thing 15 years ago.

But then if Kevin Costner can get away with Dances With Wolves, why can’t I believably talk with trees?

The Times They Are A-Changin as Bob Dylan would say. People these days are generally much more willing to admit that they not only talk to their plants, but to their trees too.  Fifteen years ago? Not so much.

I’m remembering my early conversations with a tree.  One time, after having one of many daily chats, a particular old tree told me that it was going to be cut down.  And, yes, trees converse just like humans do–believe it or not.  At least that’s been my experience.  I used to stop for a shady rest under this one particular tree half-way through my daily walks in those days.  That was back when I lived in heat-ravaged Florida.  This tree was like an oasis in a desert for me, located at just the right point in my walk where I needed the cool relief it provided.  Its trunk was huge and its long, leafy arms seemed to be trying to reach across the empty field in which it was centered.  Its name!  I can’t remember its name right now, but it definitely had one.  Maybe by the time I finish this post the name will come to me.  How could I have forgotten it?

This tree was my friend and we both enjoyed our daily visits.  I’d purposefully lean up against its trunk as some of its lower willow-type, leafy arms shielded me from view of the street.  It was like this tree’s lower branches would embrace me and I felt safe beneath its protective limbs.

As I approached it from the distance of my walk, I could see its magnificent aura reach outward and upward toward the heavens.  What was his name?  Well, anyway he told me that he would be cut down and I didn’t believe it.  I wrote it off to my own fear-thoughts and denied what I heard.  I’d have been devastated if it actually happened.  Besides, there was no reason for it; the field had been empty for years and there was no construction anywhere in sight.  I argued. The spirit of the tree comforted me explaining that it was ready to return.  Just like a human at the end of a long life, it was ready for a change.

Years later, after moving away I returned for a visit.  It was painfully clear that the tree had spoken the truth.  I’m glad I wasn’t around when it happened.  A road was put in across that field connecting a new bridge–he was gone.  Evidently, trees can know their future.  Pretty amazing.

This tree used to give me messages from Spirit.  A tree that channels!  Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Yeah, I hear ya’.  But I promise you I’m not making this up.  I wish that I could remember his name–darn it!  Anyway, I used to lean against his truck and could feel a surge of energy and something like an exchange occured.  It was as if he was drawing out energy into the earth on my behalf somehow and then re-energizing me. Sometimes, I’d pour out my problems to my friend and then integrate the wisdom from nature that he offered in return.  Of course, I never talked about this to anyone.  And actually, now that I think of it, this is the first time I am.   I guess that it just never came up before.  What brought it to mind was a recent conversation I had with my maple trees.

Years later, after having moved to the mountains, I came across a cute little book in a metaphysical bookstore. Talks with Trees; A Plant Psychic’s Interviews with Vegetables, Flowers and Trees by Leslie Cabarga.  After reading it, there was no doubt that I wasn’t the only person having these types of conversations.  An adorable little book by the way.

Anyway, now I can finally get to the point of what I wanted to blog about in the first place.  The other day I was trimming the overgrown grass around the feet of one of the 3 maple trees located in the front yard.  It was a dreamy and untypically cool July day brimming with gentle summer breezes.  As I was well into the task and enjoying the weather I heard, “thank you” coming from the tree.  I was a bit surprised, not expecting a conversation to ensue. “I didn’t realize you cared about this kind of thing”, I said.  The tree replied that it liked to be trimmed and looking nice just like the rest of the yard.  “What do you know!  Really?  Well, you’re very welcome”, I said. This particular tree spoke to me once before, complaining a bit that the other 2 trees had ornaments of some kind. It wanted something special beneath its branches too.

You see, one of the trees has a solar light on a shepherds hook underneath it and the other has wind chimes dangling from a branch. But that particular tree had nothing special to adorn it. I promised to take care of that.  Today I bought a little decorative bird house and hung it on one of his lower branches, finally fulfilling his request.  I didn’t hear him say anything, but I’m sure he appreciated it.

I don’t know why I am using personal pronouns in the masculine when referring to trees.  I don’t necessarily consider trees as either male or female.  It just seems easier to pick a gender with the telling of this tale.

But I didn’t finish telling you about these 3 maple trees.  Let’s go back.  When I got to the middle tree to clip the grass and sapling shoots from around its base I heard, “I’m the closest to the road!” And there seemed to be some enthusiasm with that statement.  Before hearing that I was pretty much caught up in my own thoughts, clipping away.  Again, the sudden dialogue startled me.

I stood upright, stepped back and looked at the position of all three trees with a surveyed glance.  And sure enough, this tree actually was a little closer to the road than the others.  I’d never really noticed that before.

I thought something like, “Well, that’s nice but what’s your point?”  The tree explained that since he’s little closer to the road than the other 2, he does a better job of absorbing the carbon monoxide from the cars going by on the highway.

One thing that I realized through my years of conversing with trees is that they take their service to humanity pretty seriously–just like a human counterpart would with their profession.  And they are so happy to be recognized or acknowledged when a human walks by and says hello.  And they especially like it when they overhear a human remarking how beautiful they are.  Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re talking about their ego in any way.  I’m not sure if trees have egos in the first place.  It’s just that they’re thrilled when they’re acknowledged by the humans that they serve.

Once, after the remnants of a hurricane turned tropical storm came through, a group of trees told me how they worked really hard all night long absorbing the wind.  Accompanying that was the feeling that taking up the wind (and the rain too) was a really important job.

The name of the tree in Florida that was cut down is beginning to come to my mind. I remember the word “light” in the name which I believe was associated with this tree’s huge white aura.  Well, it’s after 3 am.  I began this post because I was unable to sleep.  Besides, it’s been on my mind to make this post all week anyway.  Ring of Light–that was that tree’s name! Ring of Light!  I’m so glad I remembered.

Anyway, next time you pass by a tree, consider saying hello–won’t you?   You don’t have to say it out loud, just speaking it in your mind is fine–they’ll hear you!  Nothing makes them happier than when a human acknowledges them.  Trust me on that–I know because they told me.  Besides, the psychic who wrote that book says the very same thing.

If you stop a moment and listen the trees will talk to you too!

I THINK that I shall never see  
A poem lovely as a tree.  
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest  
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;  
A tree that looks at God all day,          
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;  
A tree that may in summer wear  
A nest of robins in her hair;  
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;  
Who intimately lives with rain.   
Poems are made by fools like me,  
But only God can make a tree.     –Joyce Kilmer
PS — Another tree name is River of Dreams — another old friend of mine who told me his name… another story for another day.