I am twisted.
I am melded
In painful embrace –
Fused with my neighbour.
We grew with restriction.
While you worshipped your gods
Did you know that trees talk? They communicate through an underground biological network. Scientists now know that forests are sophisticated hubs and networks that overlap 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.
All very well and good you may say, but what has that got to do with me? Trees are vital to human life. They give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. Spending time in woods and forests is good for us – our well-being and our general health. Time away from computer screens, artificial light and noise. She says writing this post on a computer. I do realise the irony!
Yet how do you do this you may ask? How do you spend time with the trees and not feel a little aimless and 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
You can experiment by 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 tree tops, you will hear the tree moving!
You could 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 practise in the comments below.