This tree and me

I’m out today on a walk in nature by myself. A few months ago I would never imagine myself feeling safe in nature, alone as a female within woodland, but I’ve come to recognise the call to connect with nature is greater than the fear of harm coming to me by somebody lurking within its depths.

And on my entry into the wilds of the woods today I came upon a tree that spoke to me. I want to share with you what I learnt from it. Or at least what I learnt from what was mirrored in its shape and form about my path.

I saw some roots, exposed and forming almost a chicken foot shape as this tree, perched on the banks of the hill, has found security and balance in itself.

I recognise in its form and history my Vero own journey. How I’ve often stepped onto the precipice of life, unsure of my worth or my place in life, and yet have still clung on and remained on this earth. I’ve remained stronger for the roots that I have created to adapt to this world.

And on these roots, moss has grown. Like a beautiful yoke of cloth, draped over these roots, twining and twirling up through the tree.

My pain and hurt has likewise shaped me into something beautiful.

And just behind the tree, I see a small sapling who has found shelter in the broad trunk of my tree.

I see the young tree is plentiful and beautiful, although parts of it have been cut off by human hand.

The two trees mirror something of myself. My hope of providing a shelter for my loved ones from the storm of life. A place where they may find respite and reprieve.

And yet I note, as the larger tree shows me, it’s not my job or within my gift to protect those I love from all harm. It’s a reminder of the limitations and perhaps the boundary of my role.

I can not prevent harm falling on those I love – and, even though it pains me to say it, neither is that my task.

But I can provide a safe space in which others might find shelter.

And on the tree trunk itself, I find small shoots coming forth. I see areas of new growth within the solid base of the tree.

And I see myself reflected in this new growth of the tree. I too am experiencing areas of new growth in areas which have felt long fixed solid. But now these parts of me are starting to move and grow. From them, new shoots are bursting out.

I find hope in this course of nature. It mirrors the course of myself. The growth in and of myself.

And I finish my reflections with the branches that are reaching out from this tree into the heavens.

The expansiveness I feel are reflected in the sun-dappled boughs and I find myself stretching out metaphorically into this wilder space.

I find myself being both my individual self and part of a wider ecosystem.

I feel a sense of wonder and oneness in being both very human and also finding an extension of myself within this tree and an extension of this tree within myself.

And so the ripple continue as I find myself within this forest and this forest within myself.

Myself within the very arms of nature herself and nature extending into me.

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