It’s been raining all week and already we are seeing the benefits of it. The trees are no longer bare; the grass is thicker and green ; we have flowers ; and the plants everywhere are vibrant with sprouts. It’s only a matter of days and the lilac trees will be in full bloom and delivering the sweetest perfume. It’s clear that rain is the food of choice for plants beyond sunshine. Like humans the vegetation needs lots of water to be healthy.
I’ve always been fascinated by trees ever since my grand-father told me as a child that trees didn’t only need sunshine and rain to survive but also magic. One of the trees in our back yard had died and my father had cut it down. My grandfather showed us (my brother, sister, cousins and I) that you could tell the age of a tree by the rings drawn inside the bark. He explained that along with sun and rain the Little People, invisible, magical creatures from an other reality, would dance around the tree to create rings of light who would in turn manifest on the inner bark and help the tree to age.
“Without the magic of the Little People” my grandfather would tell us “trees die before having seen the World for centuries.”
One day my father gave me a twig with tree leaves of a maple tree that he found under a bush. I decided to plant it on a bare piece of land by the house. We made a hole to accommodate the roots; filled it with nice black earth and big, juicy worms; and surrounded it with four big stones to protect it against the lawn mower.
“It’s your responsibility” my father said “and then maybe one day, we’ll be able to tap the tree for some maple syrup.”
For days I danced around the tree just like the Little People to create rings of light to help it grow. I even invented some song to call upon the magic of the Little People and to ask them to notice my tree and dance along with me around it. Eventually, I came to notice that my tree grew stronger and faster than all the other trees around it and around my neighborhood. It an couple of years this Maple tree soared more than six feet over my head and had a big enough trunk to tap for maple water. My three –year-old tree had almost eight to ten rings. Then, one day I heard my father tell my mother that he was impressed with the tree and even wondered if perhaps I didn’t share with the Little People some of that incredible tree magic. My mother replied with annoyance and anger that she didn’t want my father to encourage this nonsense.
“She’s got enough imagination,” she cried out “she needs less time spent in make believe and more time spent in doing homework and studying.”
It was then that doubt and resentment started closing down my abilities to communicate to the trees and the Little People. The power of mother and father influences played horrible tricks on my inner medicine and eventually what was obviously true became a foggy experience, a semi-forgotten memory. It took years and years before I came back to these old teachings again. I guess I needed to acquire a few rings of my own. I needed to grow up and make sense of life without the swaying back and forth of external influences. Don’t take me wrong; my grandfather’s storytelling had been as much external influence as my father and mother’s perceptions of them. Without the external, shared perspectives on life, which is education, I wouldn’t have accumulated any knowledge at all. I wouldn’t have learnt anything and wouldn’t have been able to grow and make up my own mind on what I understand as true and real to me!
Balance was the key. I needed to move inward at some point and exercise the ability of clarity. I needed to develop my own point of view and give it meaning and importance. I needed to position myself on the Medicine Wheel and become a participant in life and Creation; and most of all, I needed to acknowledge that I was influence as well, capable of impacting others and the World around me. Believe it or not this whole process of awareness takes years to accomplish and it takes commitment, courage and surrender. Without even knowing about it consciously, I was learning about Sacred Circle Tradition what we now call the Medicine Wheel. Our ancestors whether First Nation, Celtic, Australian, African, Asian, Scandinavian etc… explored and studied this wisdom for millenniums incorporating it into their cultures and religions. Still today, we can find remains of it through sacred texts, traditions or the ways of thinking and behaving.
It’s once I became aware of this philosophy and started living it “on purpose” in a matter of speaking that I was able to believe and to accept practical evidence of it all. My greatest memories have been about spending hours dancing and singing around a tree with my own children showing them the magic of the Little People.
We had a tree in our back yard beyond our fence. It grew on city propriety in the alley way that lead to a mall. There was a great big red X on it when were first moved into this house. They were planning to cut the tree down because it was sick and dying. It had this awful oozing puss wound where the iron fence was literally embedded in the center trunk. I showed the kids that the tree was hurt and they started dancing around it. Soon, I was going to it every day, touching it and singing to it. We all committed to the tree, each member of our family until eventually it started getting better and finally, healed. The city thought hey made a mistake in diagnosis and they didn’t cut it down. After a few years even the red X disappeared as if the tree’s bark had reabsorbed it along with growing extra rings.
My children were great believers in magic. Today they are adults and still uniquely believe in magic. Unlike some of us they didn’t need to loose track of it to find it again. We don’t realize how much power we hold as humans. Power over others and the environment; power to change, to love and to create. I think we’re a lot like plants. We’re meant to be beautiful and abundant. We’re meant to interrelate with one another, the World and the Cosmos. We’re guided to learn and to heal through change and different perspectives and attitudes. In the end, all that should be left is gratitude!
I stretch out my arms up to the sky and anchor my feet solidly to the ground. I am a tree. I le the rain soak me from head to toe and surrender long enough to feel the energy of common ground; to become aware of the life force of others. My grand-father once said to me: “It’s through experience that we feel and we get to know who we are; why we are; and where we should be as well as what everything else is; why it is; and where it should be. Impressions allow us to tell stories and share this experience, which becomes in time knowledge and wisdom: True Education! Give to the seven generations to come the stories of your experience and inspire them. This is the greatest impact you can have on this World.”