Not so long ago, in our human history, we were listeners. We listened to the wind to help us find our direction, to the water currents to see where we would flow and to the Earth herself, to know when to plant, when to move and how to be. We were in tune. Now, many of us are not. We tune in to our televisions, computers, ipods and iphone... and we have become dependent upon hearing our directions come from foreign sources. Our internal knowing has been diminished by electronic sensory devises that we use and even wear on us at all times. We have forgotten how to really listen. One day long ago, when my grown up son was only five, we went for a walk in the woods. As we walked I started talking to him about the magic of the forest… and that if you really listened, she would talk to you. It had been quite still but then the wind picked up and all of the trees that were around us started to shake, quiver and moan, each delivering a unique and beautiful message. We both responded with wide eyes and amazement at this encounter and stood together listening to the forest speak to us. We still speak of that day, remembering the sacredness of the moment that we shared. It takes being present to experience a moment like that. Taking yourself to nature, she will always respond.
My mother was a tree hugger. Nearly every walk that we went on she would stop and throw her arms about some beautiful trunk and press her face lovingly against the rough bark. My mother, who I thought was a Goddess anyway, made space to listen. She knew that there were many lessons to be had if you did and she in turn was very, very wise.
I have had many of my own listening events in nature but one stands out in my memory. I was having a particularly difficult time in my life, having recently been divorced and raising my three young sons on a very limited income, the days were just too tough. One day in exasperation, I took myself for a run into the woods. I ran and ran until I was exhausted and threw myself in a heap in a stand of pines. I sat for a long time fingering the pine spills and in them I found a very simple root form. I marveled at the simplicity of it, thinking this could be like the very first plant which life was modeled from, wondering of its purpose and what it would become. From the tree that I was leaning against, I felt a charge of energy and these words come… "This is you."
Well, I had never actually heard a tree speak words before... and was kind of scared at first by the whole thing (and wondering if I was perhaps, just a little too stressed!) Then, my ego was a bit crushed. Me, a little root, simple, unadorned, uncomplicated? I sat and pondered the whole thing, working to accept my place. Then the tree spoke again… "Look up!" In my frantic state of arrival I had not noticed that I was sitting under the largest, most magnificent grandmother pine tree that I had ever seen. Branches upon branches were spreading over me and it towered above all of the other neighboring pines. The tree spoke again, "and this is your potential!" What a humbling message I received that day. It has stayed with me all of my life. The message from my great friend, was this… If I could remember to humble myself to see that I was the little root, whatever situation that I was in, I would put myself in a place of listening, appreciating the wisdom of the moment, and empty myself of ego, I would have the potential of learning, real learning… and eventually, someday, I could be like the grandmother pine.
I still am working on it. I always will be. I actually love being the little root. I am so very grateful for that message and the many others that I have had with nature. I hope that you also can take some time to be with Her and listen to the wonderful things that She has to say. It just takes making the time, opening your heart and learning to listen… and you will be amazed at what you will learn there.