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Friday, 30 January 2009

The Beautiful Wisdom of Trees

Walking among the tall trees with their bare branches and mossy trunks and roots that look like elephants' feet digging into the earth, inhaling the scents of the wet earth in the icy wind, those hermits who settled by rivers and lakes come to mind. In the ancient Celtic tradition, there were many of them who found the essence of life (call it God, call it Life, call it Nature - it's all one) in solitary and beautiful spaces. The more I wander in woodlands at all different times of the year - sometimes chilled to the bone, sometimes sweltering (though rarely, since English summers are so rare!) and frequently up to my ankles in mud, the more clear it becomes that Nature, the Earth and the expression of Life is all One.
There might be a need for order and for authority, but I don't see it. The more time I spend among trees and see in those trees the physical, material expression of God at play, the more bizarre the idea of dogmas and doctrines becomes.
As soon as structure or dogma enters into the picture, there comes an idea of paranoia. Somehow, someone decided we needed a set of rules or we would all go off the rails and start stealing and being cruel to one another. But if we lived like the trees - who live far longer than we do - being in our wisdom, giving out our fragrance, going through our seasons and housing a million other creatures from the tiniest ants to the squirrels and crows, all just being ourselves, there would be no need for anyone to tell us how to live, what to do, where to make money and why we must become square pegs in round holes.
I'm not a wacky tree-hugger or an obsolete hippy! I just walk with trees and think what wisdom they possess. They are filled with life; they are expression of the Divine. We cut them down at our cost.
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