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
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.
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.)
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 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.)
Bird memories are therefore a tree’s dream of the future.
~ David George Haskell, The Songs of Trees
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.