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 landscapes, 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.