Friday, 8 June 2018
I feel trees
Yes, my guilty secret is out, I feel trees.
I feel them literally. When I come across an old or huge or beautiful tree, like these in Chillington Woods, I lay my hand on the bark and just feel. I feel the texture of the wood. I try to guess how long this tree has been here to grow as tall as it is. I wonder at all the changes it has witnessed. I look at the leaves and realise that every single year this tree experiences death and resurrection. I stand with my feet firmly on the ground and imagine what it would be like to be so deeply rooted in one place. I look at the trees around this one and am aware of this tree being both separate and in a community. There is research that shows trees really do communicate with each other through their root system.
I also feel trees in that I sense the spirit of them. To me they feel utterly at peace. They are where they are. They may have seen hundreds of seasons come and go. They experience growth and death. They are sometimes naked and sometimes rich in foliage. Birds and animals and humans play in their branches. Some damage or even kill the tree. Meanwhile they stand.
I sense an almost maternal, or perhaps paternal feeling from certain trees. I have sat between the roots at the base of a tree and felt protected and held by it. They seem to possess an ancient wisdom that I long to hear, if only I could stay still long enough to listen.
Trees seem hugely patient to me. It takes so long for these massive trees to reach maturity. Every spring their sap rises and all their huge strength is poured into producing leaves. Gales blow, the sun burns and then with the first frosts, all that effort seems wasted as the leaves curl up and die. They stand, seemingly bereft of life through long winter nights, until the coming of the next spring when the light returns.
I feel trees and they feel so good.