I talk to trees in the springtime—praise, love, gratitude. You are so beautiful! Thank you, thank you! A pink tree in full bloom, lilacs with their old lady scent, white apple blossoms, red roses, or better yet, a few varieties dancing together in someone’s yard. I feel the thrill, the glory of that moment when blooms burst open, blanketing the tree in fleeting color.
I talk to trees in the summer, their green leaves shimmering with heat, their boughs shading the sidewalk. Thank you, you are beautiful.
I talk to trees in the fall when they make one more dazzling display—for what purpose?—perhaps because it’s just fun to be so beautiful. Perhaps because they can. Pretty! Pretty!
I once heard writer and teacher, Anya Achtenberg, start a conversation with a scientist about why the sky was blue. She had a poetic philosophical tone to her query and of course the scientist told her about wavelengths of light and O2 molecules and scattering. I prefer the poetic, philosophical, and spiritual. In this conversation I would wonder about the serendipity of that filtering to make this color and our eyes made to witness the beauty of blue.
Beauty. I see it everywhere and lately I can’t help but praise it.
I talk to clouds as they billow and flow against the foothills, torn off pieces making pictures in the sky, the faux surf of a giant ocean rolling in to cover the land. Rain slanting with the pull of gravity, lifted up by heat, blowing sideways by wind.
Watching God painting in the heavens, expressing through nature, playing in our playground, I am lifted out of myself. In these moments I almost forget my human self, as I resonate with the divine. Union with God or the Absolute—that is the definition of mysticism. Trees provide the opportunity to do that. Clouds too.
The cycle of birth and death and rebirth—certainly the symbolism has not escaped mankind. Spring returning each year, the buds, the fruit, the dropped seed, the decay, leaves composting into soil, roots blanketed, sap hibernating, still alive under there. Then the miracle happens. Warm weather returns and it’s time to wake up.
I can’t help thinking about the perfect moment when we humans are at the pinnacle of our glory. Athletes peaking at 13 or 32, scientists peaking at 57 or 90, mothers at 25, presidents at 68. Even the inevitable decay is a fine thing. Can an old rose still bloom? Yes, I will bloom every chance I get, and enjoy the fallow time in between.
I read a few articles about the possible sentient nature of plants or trees, the way they react to insects coming their way by emitting chemical repellants, the way they search for sunlight, or a fence or pole to cling to. They have been shown to enjoy certain types of music, react to human thought, and have prescient abilities.
The thing that caught my attention was that plants and trees simply live on a different time scale. They move more slowly as can be seen in time-lapse photography. We hardly notice them changing incrementally day by day, season by season, while we speed by in our cars.
Question: Do trees talk back? Do they care about us? We need them to sustain our life on earth, cleaning the air of CO2 for example, but what would a plant say if we could hear it?
I like to think they respond with love to our love, maybe even giving us a message from the slow infinite divine mind. You are alive! Don’t forget it! Or reflecting back our words: You are so beautiful! as we run past, our breath even and deep in our chests, our legs pumping, hair streaming, sweat running down our skin, the effort of a slight smile gracing our lips.
They might cry out in pain when we cut them down to make lumber, or even when we prune away a dead branch that no longer fruits. They might observe our foolishness as the campfire, left untended, sends sparks into the underbrush.
No need to anthropomorphize. Maybe trees are enlightened at another vibrational level. They simply are. Be here now. They preserve their own life. They flower unintentionally. Magnificence without ego. If they have thoughts, how deep and slow would one be? Be …….. Here ……. Now.
So, I’m not a crazy lady, and probably not a mystic. Not yet, anyway. I just like nature’s beauty and can’t keep quiet about it. What does it hurt if I talk to trees now and then, or even every day? It’s good for me, I believe. It’s probably good for them too.