Storms and Trees

‘Storms make trees take deeper roots.’ Dolly Parton

Today’s graphic comes from a photograph that I took yesterday. We are spending a few days at Yosemite National Park- a place that is world renown for its pristine natural beauty. There are trees here that are estimated to be over three thousand years old. As I stood in a grove of these ancient ones I was reminded of some advice a Native American elder offered me many years ago. He was a traditional ‘medicine man’ for his tribe and I had been introduced to him by one of my dying clients. This client’s dying wish was to more fully connect with mother earth before his death.

There are two things that I remember most about what this native elder said. The first was to always send out our most important prayers while sitting next to a large body of water. He said that water acts like a megaphone to God’s ear. The second piece of advice was that when you are carrying a burden that feels too big to bear, to bring it to the forest, and give your burden over to the largest tree you can find.

I have never forgotten these sage words of advice and today as I sat beneath a tree that holds thousands of years of secrets, I leaned in and placed my back against its ancient trunk. I silently offered those things in my own life which I no longer want to carry by myself. I envisioned my own little storms being drawn into its roots and released deep into the ground.

I am grateful that my time in the forest gave me a chance to use the advice that was offered so long ago. I will do better from now on at remembering that my own storms can always be offered up to the trees…. Because storms help trees to take deeper roots.