Today I wandered about my yard and took pictures of the bark of some of the different trees I came across. Many of these trees are familiar to me and I know how to identify them, but I don't really know them. As in the human world, just knowing someone's name, doesn't mean you know them. The same is true with trees.
Ted Andrews in his book "Nature-Speak" tells us to take time to meditate and reflect upon different trees. Sit quietly with them. Hug them.
Note their fragrance. Examine their leaves and bark. Pay attention to how each tree makes you feel. Ted suggests you do this with a different tree each week in order to open your communication with many different kinds of trees.
The photo above is a picture of the bark of one of my favorite trees, a Beech. Silver gray and smooth, towering above all of the trees in my side yard, this tree calls to me because of its size, reaching heights of up to 120 feet. I also love the way Beech trees hold their orange-yellow leaves long into the fall, brightening up the winter forest. Ted says in his book, "the energy of the Beech tree can awaken old knowledge and new expressions of it. It awakens the soul quality of tolerance, and its essence helps align the individual with the higher self." I will have to think on his words awhile to understand what they may mean to my life.
Ted says, "every tree is a source of energy, healing or creativity in its own unique way. Some trees are healers, some are guardians, and others are keepers of knowledge and wisdom. By opening to the spirit of the tree we invite the energy of the tree itself into our life more strongly. If patient, tree spirits will share their energy and their knowledge of the universe."
I am really curious to see what will come my way as I explore getting to know trees more intimately. Going beyond just knowing their name...