The Twisted Tree
One of the joys of walking through the forest is when you are blessed to come upon an ancient tree. Towering through the forest these magnificent beings are magical. I always stop before them to soak in their presence. They stand in the midst of the forest with both power and gentleness. Towering above the other trees, their canopy of green invites the birds of the air, and creatures of the forest to find refuge there. On the ground below their tangled roots travel in all directions, reaching deep into the soil creating a web like matrix beneath the surface. The tree’s root system serves to give the tree stability, find nourishment, and creates a means to communicate with all the other trees in the forest. Whenever I meet such a tree, I always ask permission to place my hand upon their bark, to connect with their presence. These great trees are magnificent beings. If you listen carefully, you may be blessed with a message, or some wisdom that they choose to share with you.
Yesterday, my husband and I took a walk through the woods and came upon a cluster of ancient trees. Immediately we had to stop and take in the energy they created. As I stood at the base of one of the trees and my eyes followed up its trunk, I was amazed to see how its trunk gently twisted as it moved upward to reach the sky. My husband explained that this was caused by the tree having endured great winds when it was growing. Despite this, the tree managed to grow straight and tall, having overcome its challenges. Its gently twisting trunk was now the only outward sign of the struggles it once endured.
Another ancient tree stood next to this one, it had even a bigger diameter than the first. A large crevice in its bark revealed that the interior of its base was completely hollow and dead. My husband, who at this point was beginning to sound like a forest ranger, explained that this tree was likely hit by lightning at one time in its life. I could not believe that despite its hollow interior this magnificent tree showed no outward signs of its inner injuries. Having found a way to overcome its injury the tree had grown strong and healthy, and now towered in the forest.
Sometimes in life we let our stories define us. We cling to them and share them with others to explain our lot in life. Wearing our stories like a badge of honor, we allow them to hold us back from embracing our true essence. The message I received from these two magnificent trees was that we must not let our life challenges define who we become. Rather, we should learn to move with the challenges and overcome them. That we might be strengthened by them, and gain wisdom from them, that we might share this wisdom with others whom we meet along our life’s journeys.
The third photo that I share with you, is the cover of a beautiful journal I recently bought. Written and illustrated by Tony Carmine Salerno and published by Blue Angel publishing. This beautiful journal draws me to dig into my deepest regions of my heart to extract meaning from all of life. The beautiful cover illustration of an ancient tree in the forest enduring the wind, and showing evidence of a split in its trunk, depicts the same story that the ancient trees revealed to me. This reveals to me the wisdom of the trees is not isolated to one tree or forest, but rather is being passed from tree to tree, and whispered to each person who stops to listen to their story. I encourage you to stop and listen to the trees, they have much love and wisdom to share.
I met this wonderful pine tree along a well traveled path. He seems to really enjoy humans and gone out of the way to invite them to sit and visit for a while.
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