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Thoughts on Trees


Listen. Smell. See. Feel. Take the time to be receptive to what we have to offer you. For we trees not only sacrifice ourselves for your shelter and warmth - which we do gladly when approached with a sense of acknowledgment, respect, and gratitude - but we can teach you about the Earth Mother and your role as one of Her children. We have been here for quite a long time. We are solidly rooted into the Earth and transmit Earth wisdom from both the depths and the heights. It is a continuous process of responsiveness, communion, and sharing information with the life that is found both above and below the surface of the Earth. So go in peace, and strive to learn our secrets.
-from SACRED TREES by Nathaniel Altman

I feel a powerful relationship to trees. Although I love all kinds of trees, I am definitely drawn to specific trees. I think this awareness began years ago when a tree that my great- grandmother planted as a girl was cut down to expand a parking lot. I don't even know what kind of tree it was. As a child I had played under it. The tree was straight out beyond a window of my room. Realizing how much comfort I drew from it did not come until it was too late. I remember crying for that tree when it was cut down. Now I live half way across the country from that place and am drawn to another tree. A large portion of "our land" is wooded, but this special tree is not even on our property. ( Once again out of my control. ) The tree is down the road. I pass it on my daily walk. I greet it and send it mental messages as I go by. I observe the beauty of it's twisting, reaching branches.
On a basic level, a tree can be linked to beauty, safety, food or comfort. But I find trees to be powerful living beings. If you listen and are open, some will become sacred trees and personal friends.

Although most of us love trees, we often regard them primarily as natural resources or as aesthetic objects. While this is better than not loving them at all, it does not often engender the depth of passion necessary for their protection. Just as we can get to know fellow human beings of different races, religions, and cultures, we can see trees as individuals, and this helps us become more aware of each one's beauty, history, unique qualities, and the special roles they play in our lives. Through appreciation comes respect, and out of respect comes affection.
-from SACRED TREES by Nathaniel Altman