O’ Glorious Trees!

O’ Glorious Trees!

How often I had climbed the dark boughs of the white pine tree growing in my backyard to escape the world below as a child I couldn’t say—maybe hundreds of times—but that tree had become my best friend despite the gummy pine resin that stuck to me and my clothes like glue. Sitting on the thickest branch I’d squint my eyes from the sun and survey the landscape, imagining the hidden treasure chests that lie buried in my neighbors’ fenced-in yards. Sometimes I’d spot my kick ball or yellow Tonka truck that I’d forgotten all about during my unbridled joy of playing. At other times I’d hug my tree friend, especially when I was sad. It always hugged me back.

Yes, I still hug trees (and climb them, if the mood strikes). I’ve also become a tree whisperer.

The sycamore, beech, and pine trees are my all-time favorites. But I do have a very special place for the giant redwoods in California. I also adore the oak and American holly too, and the birch for its papery white bark. And don’t forget about the willow, for it symbolizes love: I used its branches to form my Medicine Shield. Cherry blossom trees cover the ground in a magical fairy blanket of pink petals in the spring. Besides having their own unique beauty, they provide us with oxygen, paper and wood, and if that weren’t enough, how about apples, pears, peaches, lemons, grapefruit, oranges, pomegranates, avocados, coconuts, walnuts and pecans just to name a few.

Every forest has a Guardian, maybe several, depending on the size and location of the forest. There are animals that fulfill the role of Guardian, but also trees. A grand oak caught my attention one day during an unfettered stroll through the local forest of hardwoods, laurel and moss covered mounds that banked the familiar dirt path. The oak’s massive trunk was rooted at the foot of a sloping hill that overlooked a grassy knoll. Its branches stretched above me hundreds of feet into the blue autumn sky, creating a spectacular canopy of red leaves. I had passed this way many times before but something about it seemed different. I suddenly felt drawn to this powerful tree and, as I laid my hands across the knotty bark, I knew that this tree was the Guardian of these woods.

Closing my eyes, I centered myself and took a few deep breaths.

Right away, I could feel its strength and power and also an air of authority. I respectfully asked if it wanted to communicate with me. It didn’t answer right away so I waited. I wasn’t sure if it was because no one had ever done this sort of thing before, or if the tree wasn’t too keen on me doing it in the first place.

Pencil sketch of the oak tree, Gerard

Suddenly, its face appeared in my mind (I’m clairvoyant, so I can see pictures easily). I gasped, both pleased and surprised. It had fathomless black eyes. They peered at me intensely.

“What is your name?” I asked.

“Gerard,” he replied stiffly.

Now, you might get a different name if you asked him, but that’s what I heard, and he took his duties seriously. And yes, he was the Guardian here.

He wanted to know what I was going to do about the wanton destruction of the earth. He was very upset about it.

I agreed and lamented that humanity had been asleep for far too long. But after thousands of winters, it was starting to wake up. I told him we were on the cusp of a Green Revolution.

He grew silent again, as if deep in tree thought. I listened to a woodpecker drumming a rapid and rhythmic beat somewhere above me.

After a few minutes, Gerard finally let me know that he liked the idea of a Green Revolution. I felt him relax a little. He was very reserved and bristled easily. I got the impression that he wasn’t too happy with us humans. And I couldn’t blame him. But I wanted to show him that not all of us were ignorant and that we did care about nature, animals, the earth and…trees.

Trees are the kings and queens of the plant kingdom. And no wonder! They are selfless givers on planet Earth, and I, for one, worship them.

I left the forest happy that day. I had made a new friend.

 

 

Immerse yourself in the destiny of a lifetime in a stirring adventure fantasy!

Discover the magic in The Dreylyng Prophecy by Shelley Shayner

Shelley Shayner
author@shelleyshayner.com

Artistic Mystic Shelley is a published author and an award-winning artist who writes and illustrates fantasy stories for kids. She also writes about life, art and the mystical on her blog. Her current novel, The Dreylyng Prophecy, is the first book in the Ogalon Series.

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