In The Sacred Nature Of A Tree

 I stand beside a tree
 reach out my hand
 and touch its gnarled trunk 
 where the scars of time lay weathered 
 in undulating ridges of knobbly wood
 and granulated particles 
 pressed together
 to mark the passing of time
 I run my fingers along the path
 the squirrels ran as they played 
 a wild game of tag up into its branches
 to that place 
 where they nestle together
 through the long cold nights of winter 
 beating its icy winds
 against the sheltering limbs
 they call their home.
 And I hear the sweet song
 of a robin returning to the nest
 it built high above the ground
 to keep its babies safe 
 until they are strong enough
 to fly free like the wind
 far from the sheltering limbs
 of this tree they once called home.
 I lean my weary body against the tree
 and close my eyes 
 as if closing them 
 will block the sight of the scars
 of time passing and the disquiet
 of these times of isolation and worry
 that do not weather well
 in my troubled mind 
 stirring up thoughts
 that grip my heart with the fear
 this place I call my home
 no longer holds a safe place
 to breathe.
 And the tree stands tall
 swaying with the wind
 welcoming the seasons into its branches
 and I hear the whispers of time
 running through its sap
 in juicy fecund certainty
 that this too shall pass
 with time passing.

  “Rest here," the swaying branches
 and rustling limbs seem to say,
 "Rest here and lay you burdens down. 
 Here, where my weathered trunk
 meets the earth and my roots dig deep
 into the soil holding me steady
 in the ice cold winds of winter
 and the long hot days of summer.”
 And I take a breath deep into my bones
 and feel the warm sweet nature
 of the air around me
 enter my body.
 I breathe out
 and imagine all my worries
 into Mother Earth’s fertile womb
 and I feel my heart 
 and my breath
 in and out
 with ease.
 And the earth
 and the tree
 and the squirrels sleeping in the hollow
 and the robin nesting in its limbs
 breathe with me
 in the sacred nature
 of all of life 
 on this planet
 we call our home.

I do not know why I took this picture of a tree yesterday, but, as I walked through the woods and Beaumont the Sheepadoodle ran through the winter dry grasses, this tree called to me.

I clicked a couple of shots and Beaumont and I continued on our way.

And then, at 2am, I awoke with the words of this poem rustling through the sleep soaked crevices of my mind.

I got up and left my beloved sleeping in our bed. I padded quietly into the living room where Beaumont slept on the sofa. He barely raised his head to acknowledge my intrusion before falling back to sleep.

I opened my laptop where it sits on the desk in front of the front window of our home that overlooks the tree-lined banks of the Bow. And I began to write in the quiet warmth of night resting peacefully inside our home.


Outside, darkness shrouds the world. On the deck, white Christmas lights twinkle along its glass enclosure.

A streetlight shimmers on the river’s surface where it passes under the bridge.

The sky is heavy. No stars on this cloudy night.

And I sit writing.

It is not what I’d thought of earlier for today’s post. Thank goodness WordPress lets me schedule it for posting at a more practical hour. Perhaps when this posts, I shall be sleeping once again.

The muse… I’m not sure she sleeps and she’s definitely not as practical as WP. She likes to have her way with my creative expressions.

I just wish she’d be a little more thoughtful about the time she chooses to stir my imagination and awaken my creative juices to the desire to listen to my heart and flow free.

11 thoughts on “In The Sacred Nature Of A Tree

  1. We shouldn’t complain WHEN the muse visits us, but just celebrate that she does! And you have a lot to celebrate, Louise. What a GORGEOUS poem. Funny, our 10-year-old grandson helped us with our xmas tree this past weekend, and I started talking to him on and on about trees and plants and their rooted connections to each other, and to us, and the importance of talking to trees. He may think his grandmother is a bit “strange,” but my guess is that he’ll start noticing trees more, and yes, maybe even start talking to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would have ignored her totally just like I would ignore Beaumont’s night time nudges. Sleep is a precious commodity to me and it’s hard enough to come by. I often think I would write when I am struggling with insomnia but then it becomes a perpetuating circle of a road I can not go down. Good on you for rising, writing and going back to sleep. Love the poem and how it speaks to sheltering us.

    Liked by 1 person

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