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  • Writer's picturecathybelgrave

My Friend the Tree

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Yesterday, I went for a walk, and because I was by myself, I found myself more in tune with nature. I was noticing details I may not have noticed if I was in conversation with a friend or on my way to the store to run an errand. For some reason, on this particular day, the trees were really speaking to me. “Stop, slow down, I am here for you.” So I stopped. I looked, and I looked some more. On this second day of spring, I realized the some of the cherry trees were starting to blossom. I inhaled deeply and a wave of calm washed through my body ..... ah, the reassurance I was looking for! This simple act brought me back to the present moment and I felt a deep gratitude. I looked more carefully at the blossoms noticing similarities and differences. I touched the tree trunk, feeling its strength and resilience. Moving my hand along its contours I touched into the challenges it has experienced, its adaptability, its wisdom. As I continued on my walk, my senses heightened, my movement slower, I began to notice more detail - other trees and where they were in their spring renewal, their relationship with light, the ground, the sky.

In this time of uncertainty, I’ve decided to go for a daily walk, to cultivate my relationship with nature, to accept nature’s offer of friendship. If you’re able to go outside, I invite you to do the same. Or, look out your window, what signs of nature do you notice? Leave behind the analytics of wondering about type of tree etc. Instead, use your senses and experience the present moment.

Breathe deeply. Listen. Look. Touch gently. How would describe the fragrance? How does it feel? What do you hear? How would you describe your experience? If you feel inspired, draw, jot down a few words to describe your experience. Write a poem, story ....... Simply be.

Feel the texture. Notice relationships.

How would you describe the personality of your tree? What is it saying to you? What do you reply?

Look up. Look down. What do you see?

The spring haze. The scent already in the air. The moon and ume. -- Basho

Cathy Belgrave B.A., B.Ed. Creative Studio for Children

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