The Soul of the Tree
Spring is my favorite season. I enjoy feeling the wind tickling my leaves and the sun warming my branches. I enjoy watching the flowers popping up around my roots, adding their blues, yellows, purples to the newly-green grass, like a bunch of crayons in a child’s world. Spring is innocent and new. Spring is a child.
Summer is nice, too. I especially like the summer evenings, a cool blanket of darkness chasing away the thick heat. I dream of the starry constellations carrying me away to the realm of mystery and spirit, timelessness, peace. I especially like when the owls light on my branches, their deep voices echoing the wisdom of time past and future. I have never experienced the ocean, but I have known whispers from the coastal trees, and I imagine the owls and the whales singing the same haunting songs calling for the harmony and healing on earth.
Fall is the season of color and change before the rest. As a young tree, I feared fall. I was afraid to lose my beautiful leaves and stand naked before the world. As I grew older, I learned that my leaves are only the outward part of me, providing me energy and helping me to grow, but my outside is not me.
Winter is a time of rest and rebirth. I have experienced over 100 winters on earth, as the humans measure it, but the trees measure time in cycles of growth and rest, birth, and death, and rebirth. Winter brings snow and dark and the contemplation of silence. Once in a while, I wake out of my winter revelry as a squirrel brushes my trunk with its bushy tail, or scampers up my bark in search of a place to hide his treasure. Mostly I sleep and dream.
I often dream of my young days, only a seedling. I was born in the spring. I grew up through the seasons in a forest, surrounded by my elders. I most loved listening to the stories of the pines, who never lost their leaves, and welcomed the quiet of winter. They were the prophets and listeners and told us young ones about the coming days in which the forest would be no more. They told us not to worry, though, that the ancient cycles always bring balance, and that if we someday found ourselves as a sacrifice for modernity, our souls would make the journey back to the Creator and source.
I grew up feeling the struggles of all the trees. We are connected in the life circle of earth. I feel their fear and cries as the loggers come, extinguishing our life-spark in their appetite. Sometimes they use our wood for their constructions and communications, sometimes they clear us out of the way for their farms or their cities.
Today, on a sultry summer morning, I felt the spray on my trunk, a garish red x. The building and parking lot had replaced my friends and elders long ago. Now the building needed new paint, and my branches stood in the way. I knew this would be my last starry summer night, my last time enjoying the wind in my branches. During the afternoon, a storm blew through, driving rain like teardrops from the heavens. I am sad.
There are still trees around me, older than me. I feel their whispers, “Do not be afraid on the journey. Your soul is free.”
Photo used freely, courtesy of humusak2 on stock.xchng