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Monday, 8 August 2011

Tree of Love

Just as the sacred wheel of the year has turned & we have celebrated the sabbat of Lammas/Lughnasadh so it seems the seasons are turning.  The leaves on trees & hedgerows are taking on Autumn colours, flowers & grasses are seeding, hawberries, sloes & rowan berries are ripening & the first grain has been harvested from the fields.  A time to be thankful for the abundance around us & to celebrate the circle of life & rebirth as we remember that this year's grain will bring next year's harvest.

I first noticed the trees in Tewkesbury take on Autumn hues about 2-3 weeks ago & then almost overnight here in the countryside the leaves along our dog walk seemed to turn yellow & russet.  Trees have played a big part in my life recently.  Last weekend I had the best of days when I went to visit a long standing Twitter friend, dearest heart Hen over at Heart & Soil.  A happy time was spent in the warm embrace of her company & of the woodland she cares for.

We strolled amongst the trees, feet cushioned gently by leaf litter, my eyes as big as saucers drinking in all the beautiful things around us - from funghi, delicate lichen, great oaks, wild raspberries, butterflies & birds to tiny faery umbrellas & diamond rain drops caught on spider webs.  And perhaps most magical of all we caught tantalising glimpses of shy red roe deer melting quickly & nimbly into the woods as they heard our approach.

The energy of the woodland seeped through my pores; strong & yet so gentle; invigorating & yet so soothing. Hen introduced me to her favourite tree, a very special oak, & as I lay my head against a mossy nook in its branches & wrapped my arms around its trunk, the tree spirit took me to his heart & held me gently.  I felt incredibly peaceful, a child held in caring arms.  A moment frozen in time free from any care, just me & the tree spirit connected heart to heart in a perfect moment of tenderness.  I understood completely why to Hen this tree was so special.

As we wandered I noticed the energy of the woodland shift in certain places.  It surprised me.  I felt very in tune with the vibrations of the place, my senses were acting on a spiritual level as well as on a physical one.  I saw subtle changes in the light, felt changes in temperature, heard differences in bird song but it was much more than that.  I sensed one area was being watched over by the protective energy of a guardian spirit, I felt spooked by an area where the ruins of an old stone barn tumbled to the ground & I felt one area to be so profoundly peaceful it felt almost other worldly.  I rambled away to Hen, words from my heart clumsily tripping across my tongue & forming words that thankfully she understood.

Hours flew by like minutes & all too soon it was time to leave.  I could quite happily have stayed in Hen's company, seeing the woods & landscape through her eyes for days & days, but I left with bonds formed that I know I will treasure forever.

The next day I felt so zingy with woodland energy.  My eyes, ears, nose & mouth were still carrying vividly the sights, sounds, smells & taste of the place.  I felt so lucky to know not just Hen, but a whole network of amazing Nature spirits, all caring desperately for Mother Nature, all roaring at the wrong doing mankind is doing to our beautiful planet & all struggling to shout loud enough to be heard above the greedy corporate, political & materialistic rhetoric.

In a flash I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted to plant a tree not only to remind me of my day with Hen but in honour of all the beautiful souls I know who care about Mother Earth; in honour of the God & Goddesss &      as a symbolism of my own wish to tread lightly here. Then a touching thought came from special soul @Lady-Gyr via Twitter.  What if we all planted trees together?  So - would you care to join me?  Would you like to plant a tree with me to make a statement that says you care?  To enjoy a sense of community with other people who care too?  To do a special thing for Mother Earth?

If you would then simply choose a tree suitable for your environment - as small or as tall as you can manage.  A tree small enough to grow in a pot would make just as big a statement as planting a baby Oak King.  You can find lots of information on planting trees - how, when & where- & native tree species for sale at the Woodland Trust, or you could simply pop along to a local nursery or garden centre.  My beautiful friend Victoria over at Scrummycupcake's Blog suggested willow trees would be perfect for their incredible carbon munching ability & the fact that they come in all shapes & sizes.  Hen says there is a wee native willow 'Kilmarnock' that would be perfect for smaller spaces.  Can you imagine all those willow trees whispering a message of Nature love to heaven & earth?  Wow! Or maybe like me you feel particularly connected to birds & so would like to plant a tree that will bear berries to feed them in the Winter months? Whatever tree speaks to you please do join the Tree of Love community by posting photos of your tree to Twitter using the hashtag #treeoflove, joining the Facebook group Tree of Love which I've created (hopefully!), or posting about your tree on your own blog (do please leave a link to it by commenting on this post).  That way you will always have that inner knowledge that you are not alone in caring, that you have done a special thing to honour Mother Earth & that every day you will have the amazing energy of your very own tree spirit to connect to.

Here is an inspiring piece of writing from Hen that moved me to tears: Every every action taken in love to right wrong doings can send huge ripples.  Every tree planted is special.  It connects the earth to the skies.  It harbours & nurtures wildlife. It reminds us that all things are INTERCONNECTED.

May you find great blessings in planting your Tree of Love,

Sara  xxxx

All the amazing photos in this post were taken by my youngest son :o)


  1. What a beautiful blog Sara.

    I have a willow whip left over from some planting along the river severn earlier this year; it's growing in a pot outside my back door waiting for winter. I plan to plant it at Winter Solstice so will think of you as I do xxx

  2. That's such a beautiful story Sara. I had a similar experience many years ago in ancient woodland in the New Forest... Have never forgotten it or the emotions it evoked.

  3. Bee - having been an admirer of the way you roar for the natural world for some time I am slightly star struck that you have read my blog! Thank you for your kind words. Winter Solstice will have extra meaning to me this year xxxx

  4. Dee - so lovely to meet someone who experienced tree love too xx

  5. that final photograph was stunning...
    mythical and rather beautiful

  6. John - I love that photo too & Jake was rather chuffed by your comment =) xx

  7. Just found your blog again. (Love that you re-invigorate the witch word by the way) You describe the feelings of connectedness really well, I get you and share the vibes. Thank you for a beautiful piece.