My recent trip to the Redwoods was part of the best vacation I’ve ever had. There’s something about big, ancient trees that inspire awe like nothing else. In one of California’s state parks, you can walk, drive through, or camp in the Redwoods. The average age of the Redwoods there is about 500 years old, but we saw trees that had to be over 2000 years old. Isn’t that amazing?! The attached picture is of one such tree with my husband and I in the foreground for scale. It was about 20 feet wide and we couldn’t really see the top. The Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. It was a spiritual experience walking among them for two days.
I’ve always been attracted to trees. As a child I practically lived in the big elm tree in our front yard. I used to sit up there and read, play with my dolls, and have pretend tea parties. When we moved to a new development, there was one old apple tree in the lot next to ours that didn’t get sold for a few years, and I spent several summers reading under the shade of that apple tree before they finally took it down to build a house there.
At the end of our development there was a large cornfield with a big oak tree in the middle. I used to bushwhack through the cornfield to the big oak tree and sit underneath it all afternoon. I couldn’t climb it since its lowest branch was too high for me to reach. By the time I grew up and left home, that field was being developed and the tree was still standing.
A few years ago (decades later), I went back to my hometown, drove through that neighborhood, and found the big oak tree still there on a corner lot. It didn’t look quite so big, but it was still quite stately. I felt like it recognized me as I silently said hello.
I‘d like to share a story about the ancient trees that I learned from a lady who studied with a native-American shaman. I was taking a class with her called Plant Spirit Medicine. It was all about how the spirit of plants can be used medicinally. She said that the ancient trees (ones that were several hundred years old) knew how to repair the Earth’s invisible physic grid that protects everyone on the planet. As the Redwoods and other trees in the ancient forests are cut down, there are less and less of those trees that “know” how to repair the grid. And that means fewer trees to teach the younger trees how to do it.
In our class we were taken through a guided meditation where we spoke to the ancient trees, asking how they repair the grid and then taught what we learned to younger trees. In my experience I envisioned the sap energy of the tree rise up and it became something like a sticky glue that closed holes in the grid. I then showed that vision to the younger trees around me. Hope it worked!
Who knows if this is true about the ancient trees but I do think that trees have a lot more power that we attribute to them. They have a spirit, if you will, and acknowledging their gifts, appreciating their presence, and giving them care and kindness, can be a spiritual and inspirational experience. If you don’t believe me, just take a walk in a Redwood forest.
Several years ago when I was looking for a new home, I kept seeing groves of trees and I knew that I had to have a home near a forest. When I found one, I was overjoyed, as if I had found my perfect place. Now I can look out the window and see trees in every direction. Plus I just happened to marry an arborist (tree care person) who loves trees as much as I do. Having trees in our lives inspires us and reminds us of the awe we felt in the ancients.
I would like to suggest that you find something that inspires you and feel the awe that life offers us on this marvelous planet. It could be something in nature or something else like a piece of art or music, prose or poetry, person, place of thing. What inspires you? Put something on your desk to remind you of it. I have some shells from the sea and my picture of the Redwoods. When you’re inspired, your work is easier and you feel better. Feel free to comment on this and tell me what inspires you.