Lean Against a Tree and Let Nature Heal You
I have my pink writing crown on (for real – I found it in a shop in Upstate NY last year) and still the words are struggling to show themselves. I’ve been absent from my blog for too long, and with each passing day I seem frozen in a strange waiting mode.
I’ve noticed that a number of other writers whose blogs I cherish have also been MIA. Hmm. What’s going on?
My friend said “Just write something. Anything. Keep it short.” I know this is acceptable, but for some reason when I sit down, I still expect myself to deliver something ultra-worthy (not just worthy) of being out in the world. Reflecting on my present state of mind hardly seems earth-shattering or informational.
As I sit here adorned with my crown, waiting for my muse, I remember that last month I eeked out an article about spring for Banyan Botanicals that has yet to be published. (Amazing how a deadline for someone else can light a fire under your you-know-what.)
I search for it and re-read to see if I get any clues about my own inertia. Uh, yep. There it is, an explanation of why I’ve been so stuck-in-the-mud. Too funny.
Although we’re fully into Kapha Season in the Northeastern US, I still feel an abundance of Vata energy left over from that season. It’s predominant in my constitution and such a different energy than Kapha, that when the two seem unbalanced, it’s a tricky imbalance to fix. I feel anxious and lethargic at the same time.
Transitions are hard.
I realize that I’ve always had a difficult time with seasonal transitions. When I lived in NYC I noticed how the minute a warm sunny day showed up, people were in t-shirts and flip flops. The restaurants put tables outside. It all seemed so immediate. Like someone flipped a switch. But I always lagged behind, choosing the wrong coat, unable to believe that it was warm enough to go coatless.
In years past, unaware of Ayurveda and its wisdom, I could sense that I’d moved through several difficult months (Vata Season) and always felt a sense of freedom when spring arrived. But I also would witness a few people I knew who would slump into a depression. Every spring. I never understood why.
Kapha energy is cold, damp, heavy and slow. Water and earth. People with a lot of Kapha in their constitution feel this heaviness the most in spring. So, when other people are jumping for joy when this season arrives, Kapha folks often want to just pull the covers over their head.
The past couple of years I’ve felt this heaviness myself. Yes, you can have an imbalance in a dosha even if it’s almost nonexistent in your constitution. It’s still there and can build up and throw you for a loop, as they say.
But wait, what does all of this have to do with a tree?
Well, whenever I’m confused, or anxious, or down-in-the-dumps, I do what everyone does, right? I go visit a tree.
It would be lovely if I had a forest that I could walk or ride my bike to (trying to manifest that), but for now, I have to settle for a little city park several blocks away. I made friends with a Sycamore tree there in the winter. I think she’s a guardian tree in the park. You know, the trees that have a special presence and seem to be guarding the park, the forest, the river, your backyard.
If you see faces in trees like I do, then you just know. And I immediately felt a connection with this certain Sycamore.
The first time I noticed her, I’d dragged my hibernating self out of my apartment and walked to the park, desperate for Nature. I entered the park at a different spot and there she was. The third one on the right.
I asked her if I could spend time with her and sensed an immediate “Yes!” So, I leaned my body against her and closed my eyes. I could literally feel the yuck inside of me melting away into the ground below.
Like she had her arms wrapped firmly around me.
No healing treatment could compare with the immediate healing I felt from that tree. Peace. Calm. Strength. Acceptance.
Most of my friends know how deeply in love I am with trees. I wrote about it extensively a couple of years ago so I won’t get too wordy here.
And I even wrote a poem about a tree I met and fell in love with last year in Ireland.
Yes, I really really really love trees.
Synchronistically, a Facebook friend who knows how much I love trees sent me this video on forest bathing in Japan this morning.
“I need a bath”, I responded.
The first time I rested with the Sycamore, I asked if I could take a couple of twigs that were lying nearby. Another silent “Yes”.
I gave one to a client with a beautiful spirit who’s dealing with many health issues. She didn’t bat an eye when I told her what it was. Another tree-lover. And a believer in their healing powers.
Someone once told me that the Native Americans used to say “sick-no-more” when referring to the Sycamore trees. They believed that the reason the Sycamore loses its bark (they often look camouflaged) was because the Sycamore would absorb negative energy and sickness from the people around them and give healing energy in return.
I can’t remember who told me this. If you’re out there reading this, please remind me who you are!
Even Google couldn’t help me verify if this story was true. Theories abound on why Sycamores lose their bark. You can check them out, but personally, I love the sick-no-more story better.
The other day when I walked to the park and laid my head on her trunk, I could feel a strong vibration. Even I, who believes wholeheartedly in energy healing, was taken aback.
And then a piece of bark popped off of the tree and landed at my feet.
You can’t make this stuff up.
As I looked up at the tree, I thought about how she’s just waiting there.
Waiting for Nature to take its course.
No rush. When the time is right, buds will appear. Then leaves, and on and on.
And I realized that that’s what I’ve been doing, as well. Easing myself into the transition of spring. It’s okay that it’s been a little slow for me this year. The weather will shift, and so will I.
I may not live near a forest, or even live in an apartment like my old NYC one where I had tons of sunlight, and hundred of plants (well, dozens at least).
But I have sticks (magic wands!) and bark and stones and crystals on almost every surface. There is something so comforting and necessary about bringing Nature into our homes.
Still, nothing quite comes close to spending time with a tree (or trees).
It’s sacred. Healing. A gift.
Earth Day is right around the corner (April 22). I don’t know where I’ll be, but you can be sure it will involve a tree.
The next time you find yourself in the company of a tree (or many) I hope you’ll give some thought to just how precious and necessary they are for our very survival. And then proactively do something to help with their survival.
I’m proud to call myself a Tree Sister. This amazing organization is fast and furiously planting trees to help reforest our planet.
But, I want the trees already here to get more TLC. So, the next time you lean against a tree I hope you’ll hug it back and let it know how much you appreciate it!