Friday, December 3, 2010

Interpreting Nature's Signs...

Like I said yesterday, there is something about trees that pulls at me. Especially the bare branched trees of winter. In the photo above, taken on a walk around the pond behind my house today, trees fill up all that I can see, both reflected in the water of the pond and rising up into the sky of the woods beyond. I felt a deep satisfying peacefulness not found in many places as I raised my camera to capture the picture. But why trees? And are there other aspects of nature that call to me? In an attempt to answer this question, I have been reading Ted Andrews book called "Nature-Speak". In his book, Ted explains that in order to interpret nature's signs we must remember that whatever catches our attention in nature is related to some element of our own life.
Ted's book tells me that I must consider landscapes and terrains as well as habitats before I can even begin to understand the meaning behind what specific plants like trees mean to me. When explaining why landscapes are important, Ted quotes Carl Jung by saying, "Landscapes are living mandalas, filled with symbols that stimulate those primal inner sources imprinted upon the deeper levels of our consciousness. The landscape is a psychic transformer, helping us to connect through its symbolic characteristics with our missing parts."

When considering natural landscapes or terrain, Ted asks you to think about what types of surroundings outdoors make you feel good, or bad? He tells you to think about the emotional response you feel in relation to a landscape and to take a moment to just breathe and sense how you are feeling.
Ted says that if you notice or are drawn to abrupt changes such as the transition from grass to woods shown in the picture above, you may expect abrupt changes in your life. If you are drawn to a landscape that has barrenness, then you may have some things missing in your life. A cluttered landscape could mean cluttered emotions or state of mind. A balanced, healthy landscape would mean a balanced outlook on life.

As I read Ted's book and thought about what sorts of landscapes I have been drawn to over the years, I notice a pattern. I have always sought out woodlands and the multi-layered effect found in a healthy forest. Wildflowers on the ground, shrubs, understory trees and then the bigger trees towering over it all. Obviously I like balance but with an emphasis on the big towering trees of the forest. I am going to have to do further reading to determine what it all means.

1 comment:


Darcy, Very thoughtful and expressive words -- absolutely beautiful photos -- barbara