Posted in Air, Autumn, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Walktober, Wonder, Woods

Closer to home

Wild cherry in October.

Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.

~ Munia Khan

We’re all—trees, humans, insects, birds, bacteria—pluralities. Life is embodied network. These living networks are not places of omnibenevolent Oneness. Instead, they are where ecological and evolutionary tensions between cooperation and conflict are negotiated and resolved. These struggles often result not in the evolution of stronger, more disconnected selves but in the dissolution of the self into relationship. Because life is network, there is no “nature” or “environment,” separate and apart from humans. We are part of the community of life, composed of relationships with “others,” so the human/nature duality that lives near the heart of many philosophies is, from a biological perspective, illusory.

~ David George Haskell, The Songs of Trees

Sweet gum leaf resting in a cedar tree.

Last week I shared a link to a practice on Emergence Magazine called Befriend A Tree.  Ever since reading the article and the practice to go with it, I’ve been spending more time with the trees here on the ranch, wondering which tree to befriend.  There are so many wonderful trees that it’s a tough call.  I suppose I don’t have to pick one tree.  After all, I have more than one human friend in life.  Surely I can have more than one tree friend.

Rabbit agrees that you can have more than one friend.

There are a number of blog posts and articles, especially in the Taoist tradition, about befriending trees.  Some say that trees are in constant meditation, and that spending time with certain trees will heal certain ailments by sharing their spiritual energy with you.  Pine trees, for instance, are said to “radiate Chi, nourish blood, strengthen nervous systems, and contribute to long lives. They also nurture souls and spirits.” (From “Chi Nei Tsang: Internal Organs Chi Massage”, Mantak and Mannewan Chia’s manual for practitioners of traditional Chinese medical massage.)

Loblolly and myrtle near the pond.

I don’t know about all of that.  I do know that I enjoy spending time with trees.  I regularly visit with one of the giant loblolly pines near the cemetery that was struck by lightening just to see how things are going.  So far, it seems to be doing well.  There is another lightning-struck loblolly not too far from it that is obviously not going to recover, but the one I visit is still green and has had new growth this year.

I sometimes think the loblollies were once dragons who were turned into trees when they died.

I have also spent time with the old oak tree in the backyard, near the platform that overlooks the marsh.  What’s especially nice about visiting with the oak is that I can sit up on the platform and converse with it at a higher level.  It’s a little like climbing and sitting in the tree.  (The oak tree is said to promote healing, bring good luck, boost energy levels, and help manifest goals.)

The old oak.

Bird memories are therefore a tree’s dream of the future.

~ David George Haskell, The Songs of Trees

The trees around here must have many bird memories.  (Blackbirds resting in the trees at the entrance to the woods.)

I’m going to give us all a break from my blogging this weekend.  I’ll be spending time with family and friends.  We’ll be out exploring on our bicycles on Friday, hiking on Saturday, and I don’t know what on Sunday.

Hurricane Michael, who was a tropical storm by the time he arrived here, knocked over this tree.

Thank you for visiting today and joining me on another walk.  I still have photos from walks around Cape May and other hikes to share but thought it time to come back to the almost-present and show you what’s going on here at the ranch.

Cedar and loblollies where the woods meet the marsh.

Let’s meet out at the dock for sunset this evening.  The Point is lovely and all, but it’s been a while since we sat on the dock to watch the evening show.  Sunset is scheduled for 6:23 PM.  We’ll need to get out there about thirty minutes prior to that since the trees make up the horizon and the sun drops behind them before it drops below the waterline at the Point.  It’s chilly today.  You’ll need a jacket.  Maybe even gloves and a hat.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Grounded. (A small part of the old oak’s root system.)

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  881)  Another gorgeous fall day.  882)  Dancing and swaying with the wind and the trees.  883)  A fox bounding around in the front yard.  884)  Meeting some of the critters who live in the woods.  885)  Getting ready to spend time with family and friends.

Slow changes.

The Walktober reminders:  This year’s dates are October 14th through the 28th.  I hope you’ll find the time to walk and participate.  (If you need more time, all you have to do is let me know.  If you’re unfamiliar with Walktober, you’ll find a link to a post about it in the sidebar, over there to the right.  Or, if you’re using your phone, maybe it’s at the bottom somewhere.)  I will probably do the round-up of the posts/walks on November 1.  That date depends on whether or not anyone needs and asks for more time.

The Official Walktober Post, the one that you should link to for pingbacks (or you can leave a link in the comments), is this one:  A Monday meander: The Walktober Post.  No worries if you leave your link on one of my other posts.  I’ll be on the lookout for them.

Last week, when the moon was young.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

20 thoughts on “Closer to home

  1. I love trees, too. (No surprise there!) I’ve planted many over the years and feel a bit like a mother when I look at them now grown tall. I’m fond of wild ones, too. Living nearly 30 years here, I have a few favorites, one I’ve even named. 🙂 I thank them for providing oxygen all summer long and admire their beauty year round. They are natural air conditioners!
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I know what you mean about planting trees and feeling a bit like a mother. We were just looking at photos of some of the trees we planted at Breezy Acres (in Ohio) and marveling at how much they’ve grown. The babies are adults now.

      Like

      1. I think so. I think they probably understand good wishes. There’s interesting research on how they warn each other of pests and send trees in trouble nutrients, which is pretty interesting, so I hope they take my pats in stride as well-wishes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always felt a kinship with trees and have taken MANY pix of them in various places. We have that great one of us in the massive upturned tree root with you and M at Blackwater Falls when Kelsey was a baby. ❤💜💛💚💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cathy. 🙂 Planting trees is a wonderful thing to do for yourself and for Mother Earth. My husband and I have planted hundreds of them over the years. Some grew up. Some never made it past the first year and we had to replant. It’s always an adventure.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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