“Listen,” says the ancient silver maple. The wind blows softly, rustling her still-green leaves. A cool October mist falls softly upon us. There is a symphony of crickets, their quiet whirring an ambient comfort.

From the valley I hear midnight laughter. The train whistle blows and the faint clacking of tracks echoes off the neighbor’s house.

Indeed, I have come to her to listen. I have come to her to hear.

“Do not forget to look up to the sun, even when your branches are bare,” she tells me.

The wind blows again and I close my eyes to take in that message. Mist falls on my skin and I shiver. When my eyes open, she has extended a branch in the breeze. My fingertips meet her leaves and her energy flows right into mine. It is as simple and as natural as a river’s current. It is familiar and it is warm and for a moment her energy is my grandmother’s love.

I embrace my grandmother again, embodied in this beautiful matriarch, and I tell her how much I love her.

“Love is a funny human concept,” says the tree, “and yet it is unfathomable and unchanging.”

The breeze sweeps over my face and through her branches. I tune in to the natural harmony and I listen. I exist the way a tree exists and my deep thoughts no longer plague me with their weight. My energy mingles with the maple’s as our roots intertwine.

At last, there, at the hour of midnight, I find the strength that I had lost. I find it within her roots and her wisdom, as though my grandmother herself had spoken.

The weeping willow
finds comforting strength within
the maple’s firm roots

~K. White Wolf


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