Befriend A Tree

We are nature. Our bodies aren’t separate from the earth. We instinctively know this, although we forget sometimes. We know it feels restorative, calming and healing to spend time in nature – away from roads, buildings, computers, phones, and deadlines.

Give yourself ten or fifteen minutes to enjoy this exercise.

Find a tree or a grassy area. The farther you get from pavement and traffic, the more pleasant it will be. But you don’t need a nature preserve or a park. You can do it with just one tree, or a small patch of grass under the sky.

Sit or lie down next to the tree, or on the grass. Become aware of the earth beneath you. Feel her texture and temperature. Feel her wide, vast presence. Remember how enormous she is, how solid and abiding. Feel gravity connecting you to the earth. You’re a part of her, made of the air, water, and plants that keep you alive.

Let your mind quiet down. Listen to the sounds around you – wind shaking the leaves of your tree, voices of birds, water, people. Spend time with the clouds.

It only takes a short time to befriend a tree. Nature heals us because it doesn’t want anything from us, and it shows us the ease of simply being.

Come back and write me a note about what you noticed!

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2 responses to “Befriend A Tree

  1. I do this all the time and I love it. The thing that one must remember, however, is that nature is indifferent. Mountain lions see us as food or threats to their food. Bears choose to run from us or maul us, depending on their mood, without any need to “think it through”. Whitetail deer kill people every year. Their indifference is what we strive for, yet we continue to objectify them and believe that the illusion of “peace” is a goal. Act. Eat. Sleep. Breathe. Know hunger and know nature. Watch a squirrel desperately seek out enough food for winter, hide it from those who will steal it from her, and look around nervously, constantly for those who would eat her. They aren’t being “cute”, they’re being cautious because danger can pop out from anywhere. They live and die quickly. A deer in the wild averages 6 yrs, in captivity 20 yrs. We have separated ourselves so far that we don’t understand the hunger, the constant alertness that every other creature has. Try sneaking up on a deer, or a fox, or being stalked by a mountain lion, then imagine what life is like for them- no houses, hospitals, grocery stores, gardens, or peaceful retreats. Every minute awareness…

  2. okay, this doesn’t actually have to do with this post (which is lovely by the way!) but why does it say “Prison Volunteer” on your masthead? And then you click it and it’s the archives? Am I missing something?

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