Posts Tagged ‘Pantheism’

Tree Love

I’ve had a close spiritual relationship with trees ever since I was a little girl. My mom, sister and I would always stop at a particular tree along the path to our neighborhood playground, because I “needed” to say hi to it. On one such excursion –around age five– I lost a favorite cap somewhere between the tree and the playground. I didn’t notice until we reached the tree on our way home, but when I did, I was most upset! I can’t remember if the cap had been a present from my grandfather (who left the body when I was three), or if the cap just reminded me of him. In any case, I was devastated to lose this cap! We looked everywhere, but it was nowhere in sight.

I asked the tree and my grandfather to help me find my cap, even as my mom tried to console me that it was probably gone for good. She did suggest I pray, which I did in my own way back then, as now. Lo and behold, on our next trip to the playground, perhaps a week later, when I stopped to say hi to my tree, the cap was there! I don’t know how it got there, but somehow I always figured the tree had something to do with it. At the very least, the tree had protected it from the rainy weather that had kept us away for a week. Ever since then, I’ve turned to trees for solace in times of struggle.

But I also celebrate trees! Yes, I hug them. I also thank them for their solid wisdom, for bearing with the humans, for offering beauty and strength, and I send them Reiki.

Laura Bruno Reiki-ing a Tree Friend

I have several good tree friends in Madison, but this one holds a special place in my heart. It’s a very stately one along a bike path that forks off towards our co-op or Lake Mendotta, so I pass it often enough. This summer I noticed that the tree seemed sad, so I walked over to find out why. Someone had splattered it with orange graffiti, and the tree felt abused and ugly:

When I saw the graffiti, I looked up and admired the tree’s wide branches, then looked down and imagined all the roots stretching forth underground. “You’re beautiful,” I said –with both my mind and out loud. That Summer day I spent around twenty minutes sending Reiki to this stately presence, and yesterday, David and I admired its Winter elegance:

Madison Tree

We touched its bark, both the graffiti parts and the pristine, wise skin:

And then I sat on its inviting little stoop and sent more love:

One of my goals for 2012 is to learn how to identify more trees. I can tell the obvious ones like birch, hawthorn, willow or elder, but leaves and fruits sure help the ID process! Last year, David and I attended a foraging walk led by a local arborist, who could identify all the trees, as well as the mushrooms that grew on them. He knew which fruits to eat and which to leave alone, and he knew all the mini-eco-systems that grew beneath them. I want that knowledge! As much as I’ve loved trees my entire life, I’ve always had a weird mental block about learning their names and family heritage. Since I began studying Runes in 2009, I’ve felt an increased sense of trees as beings who long to be known. An iPhone app can supposedly identify leaves and thus the trees they come from, if you photograph the leaf on a white background. It may wind up being my very first app. (No, I haven’t loaded any other apps yet. Somehow the leaf ID seems like a great start.)

I may not know the Latin or common names of all the trees I encounter, but I still say hi. Just like friendly neighbors, certain trees have always caught my attention wherever I’ve lived. Some I have visited regularly as destination points. Some neighbors you get to know; others are like smiling fixtures of your experience, even if you never learn their name. In 2012, I’d like to learn more names. I’d like to know offhand the corresponding Ogham and Runes associated with my friendly neighborhood trees. Just cuz.

Have you hugged a tree today? If not, why not? They’re full of love, wisdom, grounding energy, and they can touch the sky! Namaste.