Sitting with your back against a favourite tree can be very grounding. It can help us let go of pent up emotions. I’m sure I am not the only one who has, on a bad day, found a big friendly old Oak and sat under it having a little blub.
If you find the right tree it can be incredibly comforting, almost as if the tree is hugging you in your time of worry or need.
Different trees of course feel different to be around; some make us feel joyful, playful even as we are tempted to defy gravity and age and scramble up amongst its branches. Others give us a feeling of cool lament, providing a place of stillness where you can almost see sadness like a fine mist in the air around you. Others still can be scary, you may not feel welcome under its canopy, but jumpy and nervous.
Most trees we barely acknowledge, barely noticing them as we pass, except perhaps when they are in blossom or fruiting.
Becoming mindful of trees, noticing them all year round can have a deep impact on our lives. Simply stopping to admire their strength and beauty can add a good feeling to your day. Thanking them for all that they provide; from the oxygen, shade, fruit, wood to the effects on our local microclimate has a massive impact, as in acknowledging these things we become more gratefully aware of them.
I recommend spending some time sat under a tree, one where you feel comfortable, contented and calm. Just sit for a while, not off loading all of your woes but just sit and be conscious of how the way you feel changes in the proximity of this tree. Take your time. Perhaps at some point say hello, introduce yourself even. Then, when you are ready, ask the tree about itself. Be clear with your question, what do you want to know? If you want to remember the answer take notes, it is easy to forget. Write everything that may be relevant down, any physical feelings or emotions that come up, songs or pictures that come into your head; trees rarely speak with words. Before leaving don’t forget to thank the tree for the time you have spent with it, for what it has shared.
This is tree medicine, tree companionship. Talking to trees is part of the process of rewilding yourself. Reconnecting with nature and the natural cycles of life. Return to your tree in the different seasons, feel how it changes. After a couple of visits, when you have been showing your love and appreciation to the tree for a while, you will feel it recognise you, react to you, just like an animal does (although more subtle). You can do this with any plant, not just trees. In doing so your life will fill with new, trustworthy, friendships. Let the trees be your companions, talk to the trees.
If you would like to learn skills and techniques for talking to trees and plants join me on one of my workshops…