Tree Fever

I have a confession.  I have a ‘thing’ for trees! 

When I was a small child growing up in the Turks and Caicos Islands, our house was one small dirt road from the ocean sea wall. Just beyond that road was one lonely tree. It was a spindly little guy, and I adored sitting on the veranda watching the thin trunk flex and sway in the breeze blowing off the ocean. I didn’t know it then, but it was the way I learned to meditate.

Fast-forward 40 years to the first year I was a widow. 

My 15-year-old twins were learning to cope a little better than the first few months after their father died, and I was working on a pretty severe melt-down. I didn’t realize how much danger I was in at the time, but in retrospect, I realize my grief was taking hold and I was spiraling quickly downward. A friend recommended that I stand on my back deck overlooking ten acres of woods and throw eggs at the trees. I didn’t know how it would help, but one day I gave it a shot. Lo and behold, it was amazing! I’d wind up like some crazy baseball pitcher and let the eggs rip! As they’d crack against the strong trunk of the trees they’d smash spectacularly, with a raucous noise and a debris trail as the yolks oozed down the tree. What a relief! Some of the pent-up pain and anguish would seep out of me, sometimes with a whisper, sometimes with a giant ‘whoosh’ of energy. I threw eggs on many a tough day that winter. Then as spring came I learned to again watch the sway of the trees as the new green leaves whispered in the wind...

...and I began to heal.

This summer, I fulfilled a dream when my husband and I spent a day in the Sequoia National Forest on a whirlwind 10-day journeying along the West Coast. I felt as though these big, gentle giants had been calling to me my whole life! Having never been, I stood next to the world’s biggest tree for the first time, in the midst of the forest of 3000-year old trees, and I sobbed uncontrollably. I was connected to the whole of the universe in that moment, and I felt the reverence for these living beauties. Many of them were gnarled from damage, fire, and time. Their roots were shallow in places, and yet they stood proud and strong and oh so amazingly big! 

Our journey through grief is no less spectacular.

We go through the pain—sometimes disfiguring us internally, as the trees are on the outside.  Our roots get uncovered in the process too. But we, too, can rise strong and tall. We can learn to be flexible and sway with the winds of change. And, we can connect to spirit, to one another and to nature and feel the power of healing.

Tell your story.  Tell it often.  You are not alone.

Yours In Growth,

Tawnya Blalock