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December 2015 – Inspiration from Trees

We use trees to express things we want to do.  You may have heard someone say, I need to put down roots, branch out, or turn a new leaf. The tree of life concept is found in mythology around the world.  The tree of life sometimes represents immortality.  Trees have been attributed with magical powers since Zeus in Greek mythology.  He had the eagle and lightening as symbols but also an oak tree.  This oak was located in the center of a temple and the priests there believed the rustling of the leaves would communicate the messages of the god’s.

This is the time of year in Minnesota where many trees have lost their leaves.  I marvel at the beauty of the the tiny branches that are hidden the rest of the year.  I am also surprised by all the nests that are visible.  It is fun to see all the secret bird and animal homes hidden by the leaves in summer and fall.  Many people including myself are very sad at the loss of a tree.  I had a beautiful four trunk Birch in the front yard of a house I sold.  It was healthy when I moved out.  My drive to work went by my old house.  The new owner immediately cut it down, and I was surprised at how upset I was to see it gone.  It might have needed to go however, no matter what the reason I really missed it.

Do you have a favorite tree?  If so, think about the attributes you associate with it what can it teach you?  My favorite tree has alway been a weeping willow.  When I read up on it I learned, It is valued for it’s flexibility.  I need to cultivate that!  This tree can survive great storms by bending and spiritual message of the willow is to adjust to life.  An entire new weeping willow can take root and grow from one fallen branch.  The lesson is to adapt to new surroundings.

IMG_0494Redwood trees are the largest living things on earth.  The tallest measured Redwood is 369 feet tall and over 2000 years old.  Walking among them in California was one of the most magical experiences of my life.  There was a sign asking for silence on part of the trail.  I have a great reverence for all trees.  One tree can absorb about a ton of carbon dioxide over it’s lifetime.  Also in this uncertain time I find the stable older trees around me to be a great comfort.

“Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?” ~  Alice Walker,         The Color Purple,  1982