Trees Talking


It's finally happening, that lull in summer where the temperature dips, the house fan rests, and every time I glance out the window I see the shadows of leaves dancing on bright-green grass, lush as the season is long.

Dancing shadows are a part of my life, and it was good of the trees to tell me to look around and find the beauty of it. Trees are always kind to me like that. They speak medicine in the same way eyes know how to sing and the heart knows how to breathe. Or how the ribcage tells me everything I need to hear in order to find my bearings, my balance again.

I drink in the sunlit patches of afternoon glory as they wash golden over my mind: healing is an enormous concept, wide and deep as if its own planet, but in one concentrated minute drizzling like hope into my waiting hands whispering quiet pleas for relief from the throbbing and surging of familiar pain echoing through my veins.

The trees are standing tall, looming, graceful and quieting like grandmothers who know the familiarity of riding out countless storms of unbridled emotion in the cries of the newly born. These nurturing figures are inseparable from my existence, their arms hold me in memory long after the time I could nimbly scale their branches and settle into a fine perch ripe for dreaming and longing.

When they speak, I listen. I can hear them calling to come see the beauty. I can feel their words telling me to inhale and exhale, coaxing me to rest, shifting my perspective with their earthy presence- an influence so strong I am instantly restored to someone more like myself than the previous moment when the inner ache was my ingracious master.

The veil is so thin now there is no veil. It's all blending harmoniously, this gift of noticing, this gift of comfort in the middle of the intense striving, of existing with difficulty. I spy the old branches, broken, held up by other branches, unable to quite let go and know with conviction that it's okay to cling to dreams after life has gone out of them, to honor what they meant to me as a part of the whole person, growing and grieving. There's a tenderness to it- some things are too precious to send away just yet, maybe ever.

The trees tell me this is what love is- this greatness of heart and patience of will- or at least as close as one can ever grasp the meaning of all that is worth surveying, conveying; the long sought "why" that resonates beneath every spoken word. Compassionately, they stand at the ready to sign or sing an old, old song of restoration for the wanderers or the wounded who cross their path.

Dance. Listen.

Hope. Grieve.

Awaken. Live again.

Rest. Breathe.

Jamie Bagley