Healed by Trees

Many of us have, at some point in our lives, received calm from a forest or healing from an individual tree. We’d like to invite you to share your personal story on this blog. Spruce:

On a dark night in a dark time of my life, I was walking down the hill to my cabin, without a flashlight. The lights weren’t on in the house, but I thought my feet knew the way. My head was hot and churning with painful thoughts and I strayed off the path. Then it felt exactly like cool strong fingers reached down to stroke my forehead and across the top of my head. I stopped stone still under the spruce, whose long green cones now rested in a benediction on my crown chakra. The anger and grief that had been warring inside me subsided, along with the spinning downward spiral of thoughts. I simple felt, well, quieted. As if some great parent had just said, “There, there, it’s all right” and my soul believed it. When I moved again, my shoulders had shifted, my belly relaxed, and the night air was sweet in my throat.


Last February I joined a guided journey in Ecuador-- to sacred plants and waters and wise people-- led by shaman-botanist Rocio Alarcon. It turned out to be not simply an outward exploration of amazing IMG_0702landscapes, but even more an inner odyssey of uncovering what happens in our beings when confronted with the strong spiritual forces of the wild. At one point, on a “trail walk in the rain forest” we engaged in one of those ceremonies that calls upon the deepest fibers of spirit to show up and be stretched a bit further that we might have thought possible. Afterward, Rocio brought us to a tree for healing. I would say to the mother of healing trees: the Hila. As soon as I entered the field of this tree, I felt like I was scattered iron filings being pulled to the magnet. I stumbled toward her like a sobbing toddler to her mother’s arms. And as I pressed my limp body against her huge, moss-covered buttress roots, I felt lifted, held, allowed to melt entirely. The shattered and spiky parts of my psyche were being gently mended or simply discarded. I felt taken apart and reassembled as a newly saner person, suddenly more whole, and newly, entirely alive.