Confessions of a Tree Hugger

How do you connect with Nature?

Yesterday, my cousin Carrie treated me to some time in Muir Woods, a 295 acre spot just north of San Francisco, home to a spectacular old growth redwood forest.

With trees towering over 200 feet and girths a family can barely get their arms around, this 110 year old National Monument is a welcome respite from the fast paced hustle of daily Bay Area life.

Arriving in late afternoon on a weekday, we have the hour long boardwalk trail to ourselves.

Our need to talk falls away, we are overcome with reverent silence.

Our voices are replaced with birdsong and the purling of a valley stream.  

Dappled sunlight dances on the forest floor.

Shoulders relax and  breathing somehow becomes deeper, easier.

There is a timeless sense of peace that exists here, these ancient trees have seen and survived.

Our eyes soften in focus, admiring the myriad of textures and colors.

Who knew there were this many shades of green?

The clearest way into the Universe

is through a forest wilderness.

~John Muir

 

Stepping into the forest we are transported to another dimension, one where these gentle giants offer their wisdom for survival to humanity:

~Collaborate. Take in what you need (water, sun, CO2) and give out what you don’t (oxygen)

~Honor your differences. The globe is home to over 60,000 tree species, all different shapes, colors and heights. Each and every one serves a purpose and is beautiful in its own unique right.

~Know that We are all One.  On the surface we all stand alone but the reality is we are all connected.  Trees are connected underground, not with only other trees but all other organisms and earth itself.  This same symbiotic network works for humans as well : what affects one, affects the whole: not just humanity but all animals , plants and Mother Earth herself. 

~Support One Another. We are stronger together.

~Pay attention to the Seasons of your Life. Plant seeds in the spring, bloom in the summer, release in the fall, be quiet and go inward in the winter. Life is not linear but circular. Trust that the seasons will come around again.

~Stay Flexible   Strength requires flexibility, a constant swaying with the changes in the wind and moving with the seasons.

~Be Patient.  Growth doesn’t happen in a single day

~Drink Plenty of Water.  Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate

~Reach for the Heavens. 

 

Trees have much to offer us. And Oxygen is just the beginning. Check out some of these sources for more info:

 

If you’d like to experience more inspiration from trees, check out these videos: 

10 Stunning Trees in The World

How Trees Talk to Each Other

Interested in what’s really happening underneath the soil?

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from a Secret World, Peter Wohlleben

Interested in helping reforest the world?

 Treesisters  is a grassroots network of women planting over 1 million trees a year in the tropics.

More ways trees benefits us:

Top 22 Benefits of Trees