Whenever I’m on one of my walks in the forest with puppy Shadow, I usually stop in front of one tree, approach it with reverence, and put my arms around it, face pressing into bark. Instantly I am transported, not to that tree, but to the entire forest in which this tree is embedded. Awareness goes up, down, and around — simultaneously, spiralling into realms of which I, as an ego-ridden human, am not usually privileged to enter.
And, I’m always struck by how the fork of one tree will hold up another that has started to fall, or been struck by lightning. Sometimes both trees are dead. Sometimes they’re both alive. Sometimes one tree will seem to be a cluster of individuals, all sprouting from the same seed. Sometimes one tree, the “mother tree” will feel like a queen, spacious and compassionate, showering all with her blessings . . .
On and on. the life of the forest enchants, shows us how to live in community.
Here’s a post I put up in 2012:
And now, a German forester has written about the social life of forests.
Once we tune in, we begin to realize that everything is alive, everything. And that this aliveness, multifaceted and mysterious, guides us — humans, plants, trees, stones, mountains, rivers, stars — both to connect with each other in ways we will never fully comprehend, and to realize that we are never, ever alone.