For Love of Trees

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Yesterday I dreamed that I discovered a bird’s nest that was hidden in the center of an evergreen tree. This little dream moved me deeply because this is the time of year I celebrate my love and gratitude for all trees, but especially evergreens, and the dream felt like an important message. For me, the “Tree of Life” is also an evergreen at least during the winter months.

 

Outdoors, I recently placed a glass star in the center of my newly adopted Juniper here in New Mexico, repeating a pattern that began in Maine years ago with my Guardian Juniper in whose center I also placed a star…Inside the house an open circle made from a completely decayed tree trunk sits at the center of my Norfolk Pine. Indoors both boughs and tree are festooned with tiny lights. The point of these making these gestures was/is to remind me that tree bodies are sacred in their wholeness and each tree explicates the immanence of divinity. Another way of saying this is to say that Natural Power lives in trees.

 

I do not believe in god.

 

But the reality of “Natural Power” is an ongoing force in my life. When I am deeply troubled I turn to trees or birds or animals for help, and they always respond, although often it takes me a long time to understand their messages, mostly because my intellect and cultural conditioning gets in the way of intuition, sensing, and feeling.

 

Sometimes dreams help me to bridge the gap, and when I dreamed that the tree held a nest I felt a great comfort moving through me…

 

It seemed to me that the dream was showing me that the “little bird woman self” (most vulnerable personality) has a safe place to rest within the protected boughs of the evergreen, also her Tree of Life.

 

Because I am living in two worlds and must find a way to move between both, I am by necessity a “snow bird” migrating with the seasons. Thus, it means a great deal to me that I have a place to feel contained and nurtured among fragrant boughs anywhere I go.

 

The tree and her nest may be hidden, but it is there, and I found it.

 

Perhaps I have found home, after all.

Winter Solstice Repose

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Solstice Eve Sunset

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Winter Solstice dawn…

I awaken to the lovely song of my dove who is coaxing up the dawn as the turning of the wheel is occurring. When I go outside to feed the birds I gaze up into the giant cottonwood tree in the east studded with stars in the predawn sky. Arcturus and Jupiter are brilliant against a velvet blue firmament.

 

I listen for the owls…

 

Last night anticipating tonight’s bonfire down by the river, I celebrated my ritual in our bird room with its blue green lights to honor the Earth and a crown of candles to honor the women of myth who wear them at this turning. The effect was stunning – the crown and the lights, the burning white sage sanctifying this space.

 

A bruised deep pink and purple sky soon caught fire outside my window.

 

My rituals are simple and each is written according to the inner dreaming self who directs these seasonal turnings of the wheel. As I blessed my dogs, my bird, myself with river water, I allowed my present grief to flow through me… every year it’s the same this mixture of sadness and gratitude.

 

Yesterday morning I awakened with an image of a cross section of a perfect round red cedar tree that somehow had the four directions or the equilateral cross superimposed over it (or more likely both)…In the dream this image was attached to an entire tree and someone was telling me that I needed to find a way to separate one slab from the whole supine trunk of the tree because this was my piece.

 

Reflecting on this dream I was struck by the double meaning of the cross and the four directions…. The cross indicating suffering and death perhaps, the four directions signifying life and a “good red road.” The fact that the trunk was one of great girth gave me the sense I had was that I was participating in a mythical reality of Oneness, and that my piece of tree trunk held one piece of the tale just as the rest of the tree held the whole. It was enough, and all day I carried this story in my heart.

 

Winter Solstice is a time to rest, a time to reflect, a time to seek repose. “Winter Woman” is very much with me as is the prayer that I might lean into her stillness to find my own sense of peace.

 

In my mind I see Freya, the Snow Goddess with a crown of stars on her head flying across the frozen tundra in her chariot, rabbits leaping over snowdrifts as they lead their goddess on…

 

This winter season like every other is a gift that Nature offers – it is always our choice to embrace what is, and I am grateful to be alive to make this choice.

Blessings to All