Encounter with a Tree

By Julia Vasko

 A few months ago, I received repetitive visions of a tree nearby my house when I would sit in meditation. A tree I could recognize but had no particular relationship with. 

 I was curious and excited to discover why I was being drawn there. 

 Did the tree have something to say? 

 While I feigned non-attachment, I secretly hoped I was about to receive some life-altering message – all the answers I had been searching for!!! 

 So I decided one afternoon to (very casually, of course) journey to the Tree. 

 I felt like I was about to meet some mysterious stranger. The keeper of wisdom! My long-awaited soul guide! But, what do you do on your first date with…a Tree? 

 I collected flowers and leaves of different colours as I made my way, thinking that if this tree was going to solve all my life problems, I should at least have something to offer. 

I remember so well first approaching the Tree. Gently kneeling before it, placing one hand on its bark, and saying “Hello darling Tree” as if it was a child I wanted to befriend. 

 Slowly I started to place the leaves in a pattern at the roots, decorating it with the flowers, and expressing my gratitude for all of Life. Thank you for the Earth beneath my feet that holds me, thank you for heat that warms my body, thank you for the food that nourishes me. Thank you for my breath. Thank you for your guidance. Thank you thank you thank you. For everything. 

 As I sat with the tree, tuning in, I felt it come alive. I felt myself come alive. I could feel the energy pulsating through my body, rising from my root up through my crown. And I thought, “Tree, what is it? What do you want to tell me?”

 The tree was silent that day, which was, in the magical way of things, the greatest gift of all. 

I continue to visit this beautiful Tree every few days. Always with an offering.

 The tree has taught me the power of unconditional giving. What it means to offer, without expecting something in return. To trust that I will always receive exactly what I need, even if it is different than what my mind wants. That entering into the space of softness, of gratitude, of beauty, is a gift, in itself. 

 The tree has taught me the power of tending to relationships. Noticing how the energy of the Earth has opened up to me in ways I didn’t think possible. Feeling the support of the Earth, it gives me the strength to hold myself in Life, to walk the Path of my Truth. It gives me courage. And I know the capacity to draw upon this energy comes from the tending I do in return. The love I hold in my heart, the care I take, the dedication I make to serve. What it truly means to be in right relation.

The tree didn’t give me a message that day. 

But in the silence, I received so much more. 

I am humbled by the power of ritual, of prayer, of gratitude. 

Of the grace and love of Mother Earth.