A Spring Conversation
Rose: (The inquisitive 4 yr old) “Mama, can trees talk?”
Charlie: (The imaginative 12 year old) Of course they can Rose. Why do you think both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien put talking trees in their books?
Mom: (The 40-something tree hugger) Rose, I think trees are good listeners.
(Rose smiles with a triumphant twinkle in her eyes and then runs off to the swings).
Mother Nature has kindly provided an arbored chapel for me to come and visit over the years. A sacred place where I can let down my guard, be vulnerable, weep without judgment, seek inspiration for my writing, and gain wisdom for the path ahead. The trees are my Confessionary. If they could talk, you would know the intimacies of my heart. I often run the 5.8 at Percy Warner Park. It usually takes a good mile or two before I relax, leave the world behind, and settle in for a conversation with my Creator. I’m not sure I could breathe, do all that I do, endure with some measure of grace if I didn’t spend some time every week whispering to the trees. Usually, they just listen to me banter on about the minutia of my life. But that’s the only way I know how to be with God. The relationship just wouldn’t work if there was a formality, polite niceties and perfect prayers. I have to feel like God knows me more intimately than I know even myself (in the words of Psalm 139), so that I can speak from the secret places of my being.
When life knocks me down I run to the woods. A sapient owl ushers me into the familiar evergreen refuge. I don’t even have to say a word. I know the trees are listening. God will handle me with tenderness. In these moments, I feel as if the trees are doing the Holy One’s bidding and pull my spirit into a loving embrace.
Every so often when I come to my chapel, I cross a mysterious boundary. The conversation deepens. I know it because usually it makes me weep. I come unhinged. I find myself baring my soul, begging God to listen, give me answers, a direction forward, a peace that transfigures me.
We all need an altar in the world to come and be heard.
Live in Hope,