How To Listen To Trees

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Golden Hour in Montecito, CA ~ At one of my happy places: The Biltmore, Santa Barbara

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

~ John Muir

 I’m a tree hugger…and kisser…are you? A lady once told me she was too embarrassed to openly hug trees since she was fearful of what others might think of her if they were to see  her with her arms wrapped around a tree in a delicious hug. I immediately felt compassionate sorrow for her that she led a fearful life, ruled by the dictates and opinions of others.

Once you connect within yourself as to who you are…you will care less what anyone else ever thinks about you. All the great teachers have taught, “Know Thyself”…and for good reason. When you know who you are: an amazing human being placed here on Earth to experience an incredible adventure while remaining eternally connected to an omnipotent energy force field commonly label as GOD, and once you understand how to stay in your power (it’s not your personal power, per se…it’s beyond you), any unkind compartmentalization or criticism or judgement from others will just ping right off of your auric field. Once you fully begin to embrace your true nobility, your aura will be so big and bright you won’t absorb anything that isn’t in your vibrational frequency. We are here to learn about love (real love) and to liberate our minds and hearts while assisting in the expansion of consciousness. We are all here to do really good stuff!

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Trees have always been one of my saviours.  My summers weren’t spent at summer camp, but running wild and free in the huge garden at my grandmother’s home in the country. Butterflies & birds and trees & flowers were my best friends. I would spend my sun-kissed summer days gleefully exploring nature, riding my bike all over the land, my braids flying in the wind which had been lovingly plaited by my grandmother and tied with lavender satin ribbons. It was heaven on earth! I can still remember the feeling of walking reverently into the woods on my grandfather’s land as a little girl and how the air magically morphed into a cooler and cleaner scent, everything was perfumed in the color green. I remember its sacredness, its beauty, and its mysterious silence…it was more than just a forest, it was a cathedral of verdant beauty.

When I lived in Arkansas, my final home there was on a ridge overlooking an ocean of pine trees. The way the pine needles dripped with raindrop diamonds, glistening in the sun after a rainstorm, is forever a cherished memory. Those majestic pines were my strength on many a day and I still remember them whispering to me in the wind, soothing me with their wisdom messages. I wept when it was time to tell them good-bye.

Trees also played trusted roles as comforters and confidants, once I transitioned to where I am now: Malibu, California.  My first home here was tucked away in a canyon overlooking the ocean, surrounded by beautiful, well-maintained gardens perfumed with jasmine and orange blossoms, and filled with kumquat trees, white calla lilies, hot pink bougainvillea, rosemary bushes, lemon trees…and my beloved avocado tree. Those heavenly gardens were an extension of the gardens I played in as a little girl and I’m getting a catch in my throat as I write about them. I remember all the love I received there. I loved that land so much, and now understand that Nature is my one true lover. Nature is our greatest teacher, lover and healer. It deserves our embraces! 

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Eastern sunlight in my enchanted garden in Malibu, CA

My first memory of feeling the heart of a tree and truly feeling safe and protected was on my first visit to the Serra Retreat. The Franciscan Friars have their monastery there, perched high above Malibu. It is truly majestic. The way I felt after hugging a regal looking tree standing there…or did the tree hug me?…was unforgettable. And, yes, I felt the heartbeat of that tree. I felt the warm strength of its loving, healing energy…it was an intense connection. To think I might’ve missed out on that experience due to embarrassment of what others thought of me…well… I shudder to think.

Whenever you feel life is too overwhelming, I highly recommend enjoying some time alone with trees: hug (and kiss!) them; gently trace their bark with your fingertips; sit beneath their leafy canopies in gratitude; breathe in all the purified oxygen they are emitting for you and thank them from the deepest place in your heart. Then…listen. First you’ll hear the sounds of nature buzzing all around you, and then, you’ll be able to go deeper into your imagination and begin to translate the secret language of trees. They will speak to you in a language created just for you…only you can decode their messages. Ask them questions…they have answers. What a wonderful gift trees are to us, on so many levels!

All this brings me to share with you one of my very favorite poems: “Trees” by Hermann Hesse.

Sending you all so much love and magnificently high vibrational tree energy ~ Angela xoxox

TREES

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

~ HERMAN HESSE

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My beloved avocado tree on a misty morning in Malibu
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