Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Language of Trees

Tree language is like the notes only dogs can hear. Tree roots touch tendrils ‘neath icy earth; glass twigs chatter; limbs clatter, leaves rustle. Shhh, the trees are whispering histories.

Nothing understands stillness, or silence like a tree. The pine whispers, the twiggy stick rattles, the empty bough moans in the wind: each of these sounds means something. We instinctively know this.

Trees look down on us. Because they live through seasons, trees understand and pity us. The spirit of trees comforts us. We surround ourselves with wood, cradle to coffin. In the heart of the tree and rings of a tree’s growing out into the world, we see a heartbeat echoing in time’s soft trap.

Whether tree of Life or tree of Knowledge, sacred trees of incense, or sacred trees of the Norse and Druid they are soulful. Knock on wood! Acknowledge the spirit in the flow, the life in the grain, the ghost in the door and the soul of the chair and the floor.

Tree roots like gnarled serpents writhing in the earth, bodies joined together in one enormous trunk, branching back into a thousand snaky tails shaking in the winter sky. Spring's thunderous arrival, every stick and twig burgeoning with buds. Leaves everywhere green sudden and complete.

Then the chlorophyll miracles and heat of summer, the change in the sound of green rustling from lush to dry whisper, the colorful chaos of fall, when all leaves leave. Naked, the trees take in one long, enormous golden breath, which they hold, all through snow and ice and frozenness, waiting, awaiting, spring.