Dancing With Trees

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Most of you know that my favorite things on this planet are trees. I love them! You can imagine, then, how tickled I was when the editor of Evolving Your Spirit magazine told me that she was going to print my article, “Dancing With Trees” in the Jul/Aug edition. Here is a LINK that will take you to the magazine. The article starts on page 4.

In that same vein, some time ago I wrote a poem, also titled “Dancing With Trees,” that I shared in the old Gaia platform. I have reprinted it here:

Laying next to a deeply furrowed, massive trunk
The earthy scent of bark beckons my fingers to caress
Marveling at the cloudless sky through a canopy of outstretched branches
I listen to the drowsy leaves whisper ancient secrets

Hidden beneath the dark rich soil, her deep roots embrace Gaia
Entrenched in what sustains her
A gentle reminder to stand tall in a raging storm
To sway in unison with the wind while reaching for the endless sky

I inhale deeply from the wealth of her life-sustaining breath
Arms open wide; she eagerly receives what I can no longer use
A primordial exchange
The rhythm of our breathing an exquisite dance

Her gnarled and veined hands reach out
Lending me quiet strength while listening with care
In the still silence of our tender communication she softly murmurs
Death is part of life; I must prepare

Come autumn, I will don my most brilliant cloak
Dazzling yellows and vivid reds that stir the soul
Like feathers falling, it will drop softly; pooling at my feet
With poise and dignity I will remain unveiled until spring

With a mother’s loving arms, she beckons in silent invitation
Resting in the crook of a strong limb, her branches enfold me
Sleep comes easy, knowing that through the night
I am dancing with trees

Where is your favorite tree located? What type of tree is it? What is it about that tree that sets it apart as your favorite?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
– Laurie Buchanan

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. 

27 thoughts on “Dancing With Trees

  1. What a wonderful perspective. I love nature and learn so much from it. I had never thought of trees like this before. Thank you for giving me a whole new way to be with nature.

  2. Lovely, lovely poem, Laurie. When I want to draw, I tend to draw trees. They have such a strong connection to the life cycle providing food (fruit trees), wood for building and fires, inhaling the carbon dioxide we exhale and exhaling oxygen for us to breathe, shelter for birds and squirrels. The deforestation that is happening worldwide concerns me. Now, I am off to read your article.

    • Barbara – I resonate with your concern regarding the worldwide deforestation that’s taking place. I’m glad you popped in for a visit this morning. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  3. Laurie,

    Beautiful poem! Touching, vivid, thriving, grounding while uplifting, or reassuring!

    What came to mind was Joyce Kilmer’s Poem “Trees” which I learned in grade school. It is simple yet beautiful it is simplicity!


    (For Mrs. Henry Mills Alden)

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

    At Easton Mt there where two trees that seemed to have survived deforesting, Grand Mother Birch, and Grand Father Oak, there was many times I went to set with them, I used Grand Mother Birch as a portal while Shamanic Journeying into the earth because she has a big wide opening in her side you can stand it. Father Oak because he is big and majestic and nothing else around like him.

    Here in NJ in my little wood there are few bigger trees that pull my attention, and both I have photographed a number of times. They are wise old trees, big and standing tall among all the others. One I can sit by, yet have mostly just leaned or hugged when in need of its source energy.
    Here is a photograph of its trunk reflection!

    • Jeff – Am I sure glad you left Joyce Kilmer’s poem — Trees. I enjoyed reading about Grandmother Birch and Grandfather Oak, and I love the photograph you took of the tree trunk’s reflection in water, that’s a great perspective! Thank you for the link.

  4. Hello Laurie, so beautiful and so very imortant. Your words touch my heart deeply. Dorothy Maclean asks us all to realize that when we can work co-operatively with nature’s intelligence it will, in return, respond to our questions. That the trees are calling us home to ourselves. I love this woman!
    Your message and poem brought tears to my eyes this morning. I felt as if I was actually sitting under a beautiful old tree and receiving it’s message and it’s blessing. Thank you!

    • Colleen – Thank you for letting me know that this post has touched your heart. Dorothy Maclean and Jane Goodall are two of my female heroes. My favorite tree type of tree is a Rowan Tree . We don’t have many in the mid-west. How about you?

  5. Oh, Laurie, your poetry is so beautiful. I especially enjoyed the wisdom of the tree teaching you about death — brilliant!

    I, much yourself, have always felt a kinship to trees. I was fortunate to grow up on a rural property which had trees in abundance. In my imagination, one group of trees became a family — Baby, Mother, Father, Grandfather. Grandfather tree was slowly decaying. He shared his wisdom and spun wonderous stories for me.

    Now, here, on my island home I continue to be surrounded by beautiful trees.

    I also enjoyed your photos — especially the single tree in the fog. Breathtaking.

    • Leanne – I just read your wonderful explanation for SPOKEN WORD, thank you. Gosh, but I wish I was going to be on Mayne Island on August 8th. The Moaic Festival sounds like a fantastic event!

      I’m glad you enjoyed my poem. I liked reading about the tree family on the rurual property you grew up on. The photo that you particularly like (single tree in fog) was taken many years ago in Elfin Forest, California (that’s in southern California, between Carlsbad and San Marcos).

  6. Pingback: Thank you, Laurie, for your questions « Author Leanne Dyck's Blog

  7. Hi Laurie

    Rather fond of trees myself. Found a picture of Ailsa and Jewelia in the foreground, and Tane Mahuta in the background (but not how to add it to this post). Tane is a giant Kauri and one of the largest trees on the planet, not as tall as some of your giant Redwoods, but over 100ft to the first branch and over 20 ft across for that entire distance (so in tonnage of millable wood he’s right up there). He’s been standing for over 2,500 years. Prior to human settlement about a third of the land area was covered in such giants, now there are only a few hundred left.

    Within and hour’s cycle of here is the largest Totara tree in the South Island, which is impressive.

    All of the forest scenes in Lord of the Rings are shot in NZ forests, most of those shots I have walked the ground myself.
    They’ve altered a few landscapes with special effects, adding castles etc, but the unaltered bits are very familiar.

    I like to lie in forests and think about the battles being fought between trees on timescales that my lifetime would barely register against. Many of our tree species take over a thousand years to reach maturity, and can live for over 2,000 years – not that many get the chance, earthquakes and landslips usually kill them off before then. (I think the oldest known tree is around 30,000 years old – from a time when sea level was almost 200 ft lower than it is now.)

    Watching the battle for light and life, the succession of species, the many and varied strategies being played out millions of times over. The role of chance and catastrophe – fascinating.

    At the same time the smells are evocative of peaceful childhood memories for me. And with very little effort one can be reasonably confident of being in a part of the forest where no other human being has been for years (if ever), and being alone.

    • Ted – If you send me the photo of of Ailsa and Jewelia with the Tane Mahuta in the background (Laurie@HolEssence.com), I will get it posted for you. We — the Buchanan Clan (Len, Eoghan, and Myself) are fans of the Lord of the Rings books/movies. I would love to have a guided tour of that area from you. And by golly, one day we will. One of my favorite books is “Meeting with Remarkable Trees” by Thomas Parkenham – it’s extraordinary. It has photos of trees like you’ve described (over 100 ft to the first branch and over 20 ft. across) — amazing!

      I have a photograph I took while walking across the Highlands of Scotland of a natural “part” in a forest – it is quite possibly the most “magical” place I’ve ever been. Len will have to scan it for me as I took the photo long before digital photography was available to the average Joe/Jane. There aren’t a tremendous number of actual forests for me to saunter through in this geographic location, but like you, I do love to lie on the ground at the base of a tree — I’d bet my two front teeth it’s one of the most healing things a human being can do.

      Thank you for stopping by, Ted. For you it’s Friday at just after 11am. For me it’s Thursday at just after 7pm.

  8. I am sitting here in my bedroom listening to the brisk wind outside moving the trees to swayback and forth in a soft noise.

    Thanks for sharing your love of trees.

    This reminded me of one of my favorite trees that is in our backyard patio, it has been hit by lightening twice now and both times come back even stronger. It is two stories tall and I can see iot outside my office room upstairs as well.

    I also was fond of the bradford Pear and Magnolia Trees in Atlanta, Georgia. They made for a beautiful landscape.


    • Kim – Strangely, you’re comment was in the “spam” folder. I’m sure glad I checked in there. You’ve got wind? We’ve got high (high!) humidity. And we don’t have air conditioning — oh boy howdy, it’s been a sweaty day! It’s days like today that I wish I could zip my dog’s coats right off. If I’m coatless and this hot — they’ve got to be downright miserable! We have lots of fans going, and they’re each positioned in front of each one. I’m under a ceiling fan.

      I can’t recall seeing a pear tree in real life, but I have seen magnolia trees and been beyond astounded at their beauty.

      • Yes
        Something is weird. I have not been getting some of your messages either.

        You are very much welcome anytime to enjoy some lemonade, cool air and company……….:-)


  9. Pingback: Tane Mahuta | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

  10. How nice! My favorite tree is in Moraine Hills park. There is a 2.75 mile walking trail that I love to use. I’ve used it in all types of weather. In the winter when no one was there. In the heat of summer standing a while looking at the turtles sunning themselves. Seeing the other animals such as grey herons, muskrats and beavers and plenty of deer. I took my Great Pyrenees dog there one summer and there were just thousands of tiny frogs on the trail (she wanted to eat them). I’ve walked in the rain and got the bottoms of my pants soaking wet. I’ve been there 2 summers ago when it was so flooded they ended up closing the trail right after I walked on it. I had to “wade” with my gymshoes being full submerged under water (hmmm can you say water moccasins?) And who can forget the beautiful fall?

    Anyway my favorite tree there is on the trail. I call it the faerie tree. It’s an old gnarly oak. I can just picture them dancing around that tree. I have NO IDEA why. But it comes into my head each time I walk by. I even pause to see if one day I’ll catch a glimpse.

    • Beth – I love Moraine Hills! Len and I need to get over there with our bikes. If I remember correctly, there are three different trails – each of them beautiful in their own way. The next time you go there, please photograph the faerie tree and post it on your blog. I’d love to see it. Have a great weekend.

  11. Hi Jeff
    Nice shot.
    I doubt Tane is the oldest, and he is old, and accessable, just a 5 minute walk from a major highway. I have seen trees much deeper (and there fore probably older, but they are many hours walk from the nearest roads.

    There is a place called Trounson Park which is worth a visit – a nice small example of what most of Northland was like 800 years ago (before mankind arrived and started cutting everything down.

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