ask the trees

August 5, 2012

Aboriginality, trees

My boys collect sticks. Many sticks. Sticks that they fashion into daggers and swords and bows and wands. Such boys.

The last few weeks after school, the boys have wanted to go to the local park. They are making a hideout in the bush.

My eldest boy was attempting to cut a green branch from a tree, but it was hard work. My youngest boy asked if I could help.

I told them that I don’t like them cutting live branches from trees. I suggested that they ask the tree if they may cut a branch from it. So they did and the tree released its branch for them. Then, I told them to thank the tree. Responding in this gentle and respectful way, I felt that I was connecting with an ancient cultural lore.

A few days later at the park, my youngest son ran up to me excitedly “Mum, I asked the tree if I could have one of its branches and it said YES! It really did, I heard it!”

I told him that if everyone cuts branches from the trees then they will be sad and hurt, it is like cutting off one of our limbs. He agreed that it would be better to collect the branches already fallen on the ground.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.  John Muir

And several days later I am reading a book about balance and harmony written by a Cherokee man, Michael Garrett…

The boy was proud of his new walking stick and displayed it for the elder to see. The elder questioned whether the boy had gone about it in a proper way: asking permission; taking only what he needed; and giving thanks to the tree spirit by making some offering.”

(Walking on the Wind, 1998, p44)



Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

One Comment on “ask the trees”

  1. InsideJourneys (@InsideJourneys) Says:

    I love this story.
    We rarely think of treating trees with respect because we were taught that they are inanimate. Thanks for sharing this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: