Who speaks for trees?

At the entrance to the cedar’s grove, the old tree pushed me backwards and knocked me over from the distance.

Surrender.

I paused in awe. Tears filled my eyes. I slowly surrendered. An eternity passed. I accepted that this was not my time to enter, that I had been too hasty and too preoccupied with my own thoughts and projections, that I hadn’t been listening to her. In this very moment she invited me to come closer.

Listen.

My eyes beheld a golden leaf before me, reflecting the sunlight. I felt my body rise and walk, yet it was not I who rose and walked. I slowly followed the golden light into the grove, inwardly reciting the ancient poem “The Mistress of Vision“. Half way towards her, I waited and listened to the mosquitoes humming “no, no, no” until their song changed.

Ask.

I asked to approach her. Will you allow me to receive you? I came closer. She accepted in silence. I sank to the ground before her, filled with awe.

Rise. Feel your roots.

I rose up to stand tall before her, stretching out my hands to become a tree like her. My feet were rooted firmly, yet gently, on the ground.

Rise up, stand tall. If you do not rise, I will fall.

I wept. What can I, a single human, possibly do to change this course? I wept for her, for all of her kind, for all of our kind … for all beings.

Speak. You must speak up.

I promised her, in some kind of language that I could not understand. Enthralled by the mosquitoes not biting me, not even attempting to, she taught me again to ask. I asked the mosquitoes to refrain from sucking my blood unless their lives depended on it, for then I would willingly give it to them. They spared me, humming. I knelt down again.

Enter me. Come inside me.

I closed my eyes, weeping again in gratitude – how much you trust me! – me, a man who was only learning how to listen, and yet a man who was willing to surrender to just that. I dared not enter her fully, yet I sensed a budding glimpse of our spiritual union.

Feel me.

I reached out my hands, very slowly, listening to who it really was that spoke. Trusting, I placed one hand on her leg, or was it her hand? I touched her. I gently placed my other hand on her. I feel you! I was learning how to feel her. You are alive!

Remember. Remember my brothers and sisters.

I rose up and looked around me. With new eyes I saw their sentience, I saw her brothers and sisters whom she was lending her voice. Yes, I will speak up for you all. I will honor you. I felt complete and began to leave.

Remember.

I stumbled and fell backwards again. She wasn’t done with me yet.

Remember my brothers and sisters. You are among them, too.

I saw a yellow leaf resting on the trunk of a tree before me. Are you mine to pick up? I asked permission. I held the leaf up high, and suddenly three other leaves were falling around me. Clearly, the one that landed before my feet was mine to bring back. I carefully placed that first one back on its trunk and picked up mine. Finally I left the grove, focusing on my steps, filled with a knowing that I did not need to look back.

Don’t look back, remember. Remember us.

— based on a journal entry on Monday, 22nd June 2019 @ Seattle, Washington, USA.

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