I have this frightening dream after I finally fall asleep election night.
Just an image: I see bleached, broken, slashed, and severed tree roots scattered over the entire horizon – which seems to stretch out in front of me in all directions – the ground, as far as I can see is flat and has become a wasteland. The only color in the dream is ash gray.
In my personal mythology I see the “Tree Mothers” as Wise Ones, Guides, some are personal friends of mine who literally support and nurture me (and all creatures and peoples) on the Earth.
Without trees I cannot (literally) breathe. Either can other mammals.
On an archetypal or collective level the image speaks to the World Tree or the “Tree of Life.” The trees have been shattered, severed and uprooted. The trees are dead. The bone –like aspect of the trees is “familiar” – the tree roots look like human bones.
Roots are what hold us in place. Roots attach us to trees, each other and to the earth – we have been severed from our roots.
The ground is barren – unable to support life
The bleached tree, person/animal like bones speak to death and the wasteland ahead.
When I came here to the high desert of northern New Mexico I fell in love with every fragrant juniper and pinon pine. People who come here complain the the trees are not big enough, and I watch how the birds fly in and out of their thick boughs which in the fall are thick with “berries” and can only feel gratitude that these trees will get to live out their natural life spans – Junipers can live to be thousands of years old. I find the gnarled trunks of the junipers especially beautiful and the roots extend out in the most imaginative ways – snaking around stones and the infrequent flooding of the washes.
My home in Maine has many trees on it that have been nurtured and loved by me for thirty years. As much as I love it here I still miss my northern trees. What I don’t miss is knowing that the trees (except for mine) will be slaughtered before they reach thirty years old because we log continuously in the area where I have my home… Maine has less than 16 percent of “mature” forest left. To be living in a place where I can simply be with trees in peace without ongoing grief has been such a reprieve.
So to have this bone – dead tree dream here in a place where I can appreciate trees and their roots, not to mention their age, on the night of the election seems especially alarming.
It is apparent that Nature knows she is under siege like never before.