Whispers From the Trees: Less Is More…

whispers from the trees Nov 28, 2023
Trees, forest, whispers

By Penny Reed

Psithurism (sith-err-iz-um) a whispering noise like wind in the trees.

A sound made by the rustling of leaves that almost sounds like music.

I often notice grief in myself this time of year as the verdant greens of summer give way into the ruddy earth tones of decay. The spaces once teeming with life, now silent and still. The feelings of wild endless possibilities are replaced with quiet reflection and solitude. While out on my weekly forest walk, I sensed a shift in my perspective. It wasn’t grief that was creeping into my being but a deep sigh of relief, paralleled with a reverence for the changing of the seasons. This bottomless sigh was accentuated with profound satisfaction that felt like taking your shoes off at the end of a very long day.

The fallen leaves suddenly seemed like thousands of little shoes that the trees had just taken off.

I breathed in deeply and joined them with their deep exhale. In that moment, I could feel all the things that seemed so heavy just slip off me and slide down to the earth. I took several more big, long breaths with the trees and a thought came to me: Is this how we enter into the dark, cold days with ease and possibly even joy? To be like the trees and release all that is no longer serving or doesn't require our tending anymore, providing space for rest, reflection and contraction?

Modern conveniences allow us to continue “business as usual”, but not too long ago, we would naturally spend more time indoors in the winter and sleep more with the longer nights. Our obligations would decrease as the blankets of snow increase. We would hibernate in a way like the land and creatures do. What if we just allowed ourselves this opportunity to step in time with the dance of the seasons - would we re-discover a more balanced way of moving through the continuous changes of our landscape?

I continued walking, and with each breath I felt lighter and more clear. I noticed an excitement for an opportunity to hold less.

I heard the trees whisper - Less is more… Less is more… 

Again, another deep sigh that allowed more shedding. I could feel the trees sing with joy with every leaf I allowed to fall from my being.

As I approached the end of my walk, a deeper understanding of the relationship between the natural world and subtle energy bodies connected. In many spiritual practices, we are encouraged to release energy that is no longer serving us and to give it as an offering to the earth or the cosmos which then takes that energy, composts it and send it back out again. This mirrors the leaves that the trees release which are then used to feed and fuel so much more life. Life feeding life. Life, death, re-birth. Each cycle feeding and supporting the next. 

Thank you trees for remembering.

Penny hosts forest walks, Human Design readings and a 4-part Sacred Herbs Series. Check out her offerings.

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