Did you know that trees talk? I’d love to learn their language, would you?
Scientists now know that forests are sophisticated hubs and networks that overlap through an underground biological network and allow them to talk. ‘Mother’ trees recognise their own children and seek to protect them, by reducing root competition to make room for them to grow. When a ‘mother’ tree is injured or dying, it sends out defence messages to its seedlings, so they will have better resistance to stress.
Very interesting you may be thinking, but how might this be of benefit to me?
There is much evidence that spending time in woods and forests is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. Time in nature and particularly in woodlands and forest has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, by encouraging time away from computer screens, artificial light and noise. I do realise the irony of writing this on a computer but bare with me. Let us agree after you have finished reading this and I have finished writing, we will give ourselves time outside. Walking into the dappled, green light of woodland is spiritually uplifting. I define anyone not feel a sense of peace. There is much to be learned from our friends the trees if we listen.
This young tree I found once while walking the Outwoods, Leicestershire, seemed to be holding the place of an older family member.
So how do you spend time with the trees and not feel a little aimless or self-conscious?
Here is a Tree Meditation – it’s a short guide to get you started, but once you are comfortable, be guided by your intuition.
First, leave the earplugs at home and turn off your phone. You are going to tune into a different sound system today.
Second, find a place – a wood, a park, a garden and take a walk. It doesn’t have to be very long. Be guided by the trees to where you will listen and make yourself comfortable.
Third, spend time just ‘being’. This is incredibly hard for us humans since we find ‘doing’ far more natural. Don’t expect anything, but accept what is. Breath slowly and notice- the sounds, the light, the smell. And that’s it! Simple
Try putting your ear to the ground and listening to the sounds underneath your feet, or to the root and trunk of the tree and see if you can hear its inner workings. If the tree is tall and there is a breeze in the treetops, you will hear the tree moving!
Take a notebook and write. I often use a dictaphone. I speak my thoughts because they come quickly and leave with equal speed. I simply don’t have time to write them down. Then later, I will work on the ideas, fleshing them out into poems or prose. This my mindful practice as I let nature speak to my soul.
Let me know if you try this or if you have your own practice in the comments below.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you would like a few minutes of quiet thought to feed your soul, then may I recommend this post – Just before the trees sing.