The day was beautiful and still, with not a cloud in the sky. 3 of my 4 children were visiting. One reading in a chair, 2 walking down the hall and I was in the kitchen where our patio door opens to our deck, where my daughter sat. I feel peaceful when we’re all together under one roof and savor these moments. Gone are the days of worrying what time they will be home and if they’re alright, if they were late. Keeping track of their whereabouts was always a worry which comes with the territory of parenting and is truly an illusion, since we can’t really protect them from life’s bumps and traumas, as much as we would like to. I was enjoying this quiet moment with all of them and there is something so comforting and satisfying inside of me, when we’re all together, and I treasure this feeling of contentment that envelops me.
From the near distance we all began to hear this slow cracking sound that continued to get louder and louder and then there was a loud whooshing sound and we all stopped in our tracks, as we heard a thud. My daughter Blair, stood quickly witnessing our Stonehenge Pine fall to the ground. This tree is about 50 ft tall with a trunk diameter of about 15 ft. and a canopy of 150 ft. My tree man tells me that it is a very sought after tree. When I look it up, none of the trees that I see, quite look like this one. They are fast growing and it is probably about 50 years old. Reading more, I’m finding some Pine trees are as old as the Bronze age, living 5,000 years and others like perhaps this one, has a lifespan of 50 years. That’s a little scary because we have about 3 more and if anyone happens to be under it when it falls, let’s just say, heaven awaits them.
Almost every week in yoga class we do Tree Pose; the sanskrit name is Vrikshana, वृक्षासन:
Vrksa meaning tree and Asana meaning pose. The pronunciation broken down is Vrik-Shah-suh-nuh.
We do tree pose because it helps us root into the ground and anchor us to mother earth, where we draw nourishment from the rich soil beneath us and grow our roots of connection to our ancestors, carbon from which we are made of, and the healing microbes. We reach our branches up to the sky, so we may connect to the heavens and anchor between both spheres of the universe. Like our homes, our feet and connection with the ground is our foundation and vital so we have a solid base for utmost balance, giving us the ability to stand firm in our truths. In this way, when the world spins around us we can come back to center, keeping our Drishti (a focused gaze of concentration) allowing us to tune into ourselves and not lose ourselves by the noise of the outside world.
We all fall down, that is part of life. It is the getting back up that is important which is why I love tree pose so much. Often, we sway in class, challenging our proprioception (where we are in space), so we can increase our ability to stand tall and not be thrown off center, no matter what is thrown at us. The election is one of those times that comes to mind. We can’t control the outcome and no matter what happens, or what camp we are in, we will need to keep our own sense of ourselves, so we don’t get swallowed up and allow it to consume us. We aren’t in charge and trusting that there is a governing higher power helps see us through. Love is always the way no matter what forces try to tell us otherwise.
Sometimes as much as we try to get up, we wobble and fall but keep trying to stand on one leg, and other times, we just fall to the ground and get back up and try again.
But what happens when we can’t get up, like my Pine tree? Then what? I have been grappling with this concept for the last 2 weeks since it happened. What is the lesson then? The tree has had it’s day and it is not resurrecting anytime soon, and it will take time for it to decompose and return to the earth. Other parts will be cut and used to warm us in winter, still others to build benches with and garden chairs but it will never be as it once was. Nor will we.
What if we surrendered to the fall and held ourselves lovingly and kindly giving ourselves as much time as we needed, instead of rushing ourselves to get up? We die a little everyday and by remembering that, we can remember to live this day fully embodied in presence and awareness. It’s not always easy, tears are shed, pain is revealed, wounds burst open, but that’s ok. That’s part of life and part of letting go, so we can rebuild. What if we allowed the earth to feed us and we left parts of ourselves as gifts to the soil and drew strength from our ancestors that came before us, that lay deep below the surface. Could we just give ourselves permission to hibernate, heal and grow before forcing ourselves upright, giving ourselves the time we need, before we re-emerge again; stronger, healthier, brighter, with no race to the finish line?
We’re going to be ok no matter what happens, so be the reflection of the love that you are and stand on solid footing no matter where you land or how things go in life. Grow with the flow.
Keep growing your leaves to the light and together we shall be the beacons and lead the way to better days ahead.
This is a song that Summer Jasmine Brady madeup at my Music as Medicine Training.
Our Roots Go Down, Down, Down, Deeper than the Earth
Our Leaves Go Up, Up, Up, Higher than the Sky
Our Hearts Go Out, Out, Out, Deeper than the Sea
And the Music, Never Ends.
Thanks so much for reading, liking (if you do of course), commenting and or sharing. Life is meant to be shared and I am so grateful to be sharing it with all of you!
Have a wonderful week ahead.