It’s extremely windy here today on this late summer day. The colour of the sky and the dip in the temperature warns me that Autumn is approaching. Normally I would be out walking early in the morning, but as the grey light filtered through the window and the rain pattered hard on the glass I preferred the comfort of my cosy bedroom and a hot cup of tea. Looking out, I could see the flock of crows flying haphazardly in the wind, their raucous noise silenced for once. I wondered where the friendly blackbird was – I have often seen him flying in and out of the garden, sometimes stopping to perch on the shed roof or rustle around in the flowers beds. I miss his sound and his company; he has been singing beautifully recently, even in the early hours. I hope he will return. I have been lucky to spot a song thrush recently too. In Irish mythology it is said that the fairies, the underground people, like to keep song thrushes at the gates to their underworld, because they like the sound of the music echoing down their long halls.
There is a sycamore tree at the end of the garden and I lay watching its sturdy branches swaying in the breeze. Maybe my blackbird sits hidden in its comforting branches.
I once read an article about the healing power of trees and learned that sacred trees with healing powers are found in every culture and age, and seen as a gift from the Earth Goddess. I was urged to go out and find a tree I was particularly drawn to and sit and lean against its trunk. This I did (feeling a little silly). But as the sun filtered through the leaves and my feet connected with the earth, it did feel like a positive experience.
Now, with the world feeling so different it is these simple acts that can help us feel more connected with nature, with the essence of life, and the healing power of our Earth. Our surroundings have been far more quiet lately, but now as we emerge and adapt, we can hold on to the stillness when we need to.
Here are a few of my poems about trees….
The Tree Just off the path in the leafy wood Stands an old majestic tree, Its branches spread like open arms Reaching out to me. There’s a canopy high above my head With leaves of green or gold, Depending on the time of year - The seasons that unfold. I can lean against the roughened bark, Plant my feet upon the ground, And feel the gnarled and twisted roots That are circled all around. And I can dream of all that happens here As I lay tucked up in my bed, Hear the hooting owl who roosts aloft And nods his wise old head. I think the fairies alight there After their midnight flight From their magic city underground, To frolic through the night. And in the early morning sun, Like a landmark to show the way The tree stands in the breaking light Of yet another day. Leafy boughs dip and bow And freshen the dampened air; They bend to sweep the forest floor, So tread softly if you dare.
Where I’d Like to Be I’d like to be up In my favourite tree Where the wind whispers Through the beech leaves And sounds like softly falling rain. Here, the wise old owl Looks benignly on The troubled ground As if he knows The world will heal again.