Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The Trees' Lament
Last year, when the loggers came, I was frantic. This was not my choice, but something that needed to be done in order to build a barn, plant fruit trees and gardens, making changes for building a farm.
The sound of chain saws, skidders and other heavy equipment churned away in the depths of my solar plexus. As I witnessed the process, I became physically ill, which continued for over a week after the last load of trees was hauled away. I cried. I ached. I grieved. I cursed the new light that exploded onto the gentle slope where my sanctuary used to be. It took me over two weeks to be able to even think about walking to the grounds and stand amongst the gnarled ruins. To me it was an abandoned war zone littered with corpses.
I helped somewhat with the clean up. It became almost tolerable as the months passed, and although it has diminished, the ache remains. I have a better view of the night sky when I look out the kitchen window and appreciate things like Venus gracing the crescent moon and the guest appearance of Jupiter. But I prefer trees and being able to stand in the middle of that sacred circle of wisdom and life. I can watch the night sky somewhere else.
I feel a certain allegiance to the trees that border the abandoned pine grove. They witnessed the falling of the others. This is the part where you either understand what I’m talking about or wonder if I have been partaking in certain mind altering mushrooms. It’s your choice. It matters not.
Of course, it is common knowledge that trees creak when they sway and bend in the wind. Anyone who spends time in the woods is aware of this. However, I noticed that since the death of the pine grove, I have been hearing more distinct voices amongst the remaining Giant Pines.
There have been instances when I stop to listen because it sounded like an animal groaning, shrieking or crying. I listen and acknowledge. I have discovered various individual voices as our connection has grown deeper.
It was déjà vu yesterday when I awoke to the drone of heavy equipment. The excavators began the process of stump removal and leveling the land for the new barn, garden and fruit trees. My immediate reaction was panic, but then I emerged from my dream state and remembered that it was part of the plan.
I sipped my coffee and watched out the kitchen window as the excavator dug up massive stumps with complex root systems. My heart was tender at the thought of how long and intricate those systems were as they wove through the earth for well over a hundred years. It was no easy task to yank them out. Even the most skilled excavator operator could see that these old stumps were steadfast. I realize that to some it is merely a job, but to me it is so much more.
The evocative scent of pine permeated the air, bringing me back to the previous year and the initial cutting. When the workers went to lunch, I approached the dump truck, filled with stumps and roots, and inhaled the familiar, sweet aroma. They will be chipped and returned to the earth, taking their collective wisdom and memories with them to a place of renewal.
After the workers left for the day, I went outdoors with David so that he could explain what took place and what would happen next. As soon as I stepped outside, my attention was immediately drawn to the Giant White Pines that stand on the perimeter of the now open space. My heart quickened. David was headed for the landscape project, but I couldn’t disconnect from the trees. A little puzzled, he looked at me. A gust of wind blew high in the boughs of the trees and they created pitches and tones that I had never heard before. There were many voices that actually sounded like whales or dolphins. It was a compelling moment that changed me and for which I am grateful.
David stood still and watched as I walked towards the trees. They lamented, swaying in a moderate wind that seemed to swirl only around them. My voice was firm as I spoke directly towards them. “I know. I remember too. Again your roots shake in the earth, but the men and machines are not here for you. I remember the others and now they have come for their remains. The others will bring life in another place. It is fine. You are not going to be harmed in any way and will remain standing. I honor you.”
My heart pounded. The wind stopped. The trees stood motionless and silent.
I comprehend my profound connection with Our Mother, especially trees and this was exemplified on the highest level. Like I have said before, there are field people and there are woods people. I am a woods person, but I do understand and appreciate the necessity of fields [I am an herb, vegetable and fruit person] and know that when pine groves are removed that hard wood will grow providing life, new habitats and renewed life. I simply prefer to maintain well established forests in their natural state. I find solitude and my connection with the Creator is more direct and clear when I am in places such as this. However, I can make that connection in a parking lot as well. What we create is up to us.
I am not the same now that I have shared communication with trees to a higher degree. I asked David if he had ever heard trees make that sound before. He said that he has heard them creak, but never like that and he is a woodsman. I have heard them before too, and there have been times as I mentioned earlier, that they have sounded their distinct voices [specifically during the past year], but never lamenting as they did yesterday.
Just around sunset, I returned to the trees to sense the general mood and to secretly find out if they [trees] had more to express. Except for a slight breeze passing through, it was profoundly silent and calm.
Journal: Babies Breath