Whispers From the Trees: Strength in NumbersDec 15, 2023
By Penny Reed
The forest has been re-born, transformed into a magical kingdom of fluffy snow clouds and twinkling ice beads.
As I walked down a familiar known path an under current of being somewhere completely new and foreign was forming. The open, stark forest of November had given way to an intimate, cavelike visual feast that left me enraptured. Every branch made visible showcasing the unique scaffolding of each species. I stopped often to take in every new vista that each turn provided. I noticed a silence, a deep stillness that had blanketed the woods. My ears detecting only the sound of my breath and my feet trodding through the snow.
I reached a section of the forest that has old, tall hardwood trees. I could see further now and the path had opened slightly, suddenly a delicate chime-like tinkle could be heard moving across the treetops towards me. Then a gentle breeze touched my skin as the tinkling moved like ocean waves through the canopy above. I stood ever so still, absorbing the soundscape of the ice twigs dancing in the wind.
The weight of the snow and ice on the trees had caused some smaller exposed branches to snap under pressure. I quietly moved the fallen pieces from the path and continued on my journey. I noticed a large old tree and felt called to go closer to it. I snaked cautiously through the forest attempting to not disturb the beauty of the snowy landscape. I reached the enormous ancient one and approached it slowly taking in its beautifully disfigured form. Many limbs had fallen off or cracked and were being held up by other surrounding trees. Its remaining snowy ice laden out-growths were lying low and hanging on each other and neighbouring trees. Luckily, none of the limbs on these neighbouring trees had snapped but they were being pressed to their limit - ardently holding on. I came close to the towering giant and pressed myself against its trunk in a warm embrace. I stood there for a while breathing and holding. Then I heard the tree whisper -
“our true strength is in numbers. Alone we snap, together we bend”.
Suddenly I felt my own roots travel deep into the frozen earth and into deeper soil that was still warm. I felt my roots intertwine with those of the tree’s.
This wisdom was so simple, almost cliche. Yet how many times had my own suffering been intensified simply because I didn’t or felt I couldn't reach out or accept help that was offered. We long to belong, even when we’re surrounded by community we feel alone. For some reason unable to see that which is right in front of us. Perhaps the key to our resilience is focusing on unity. I thanked the tree for this tender moment and left an offering of seeds and flower petals. As I made my way home I prayed for the courage to ask for help, the strength to support others, to remember we’re not alone and promised to share the whispers from the trees. As we all walk into the darkest days together, may we hold each other and be the haven that we all need just like the trees in the forest.
Penny hosts forest walks, Human Design readings and a 4-part Sacred Herbs Series. Check out her offerings.
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