TO B A TREE
When meditation won’t come
when the breath is undone
and your mind is on fire
and your heart is so tired,
come and let’s see.
Let’s try being a tree.
Maybe the tree’s in the yard outside
or in our heads, or a park nearby,
or peering over rocks on a sandy shore,
craggly and wise forevermore.
Maybe there’s a treehouse for sleepover nights,
for spilling deep secrets in the dimmest of lights.
Maybe, right now, our hearts are screaming
weighing us down in all their hurting.
Let’s turn into a tree that carries on,
brimming with peace like the newest dawn,
not at all haunted by who she might be,
which is how we should be,
if we want to be free.
Let’s watch the roots from the center unfold,
longer and stronger with each story told,
as they breathe Earth’s offerings in order to grow,
thriving and sparkling on the ground below.
Have you ever nestled into those giant roots’ arms,
become transfixed by their greatest charms,
have you wondered what happens when they finally meet
for subterranean hellos, what news they greet,
as their connections deepen around the world
their flowing tendrils gently unfurled?
Now let’s rest in evening’s dark,
and sit against the great tree’s bark.
Feel the strength. Feel the love.
Feel the air swoon high above.
Feel how she has nowhere to be,
how there’s no anxiety in the tree.
Feel the girth from years of life,
of being witness to so much strife,
how she rejoices at our victories and cries at our woes,
and knows that it comes, and knows that it goes.
Feel the coolness against your back,
the ridges marked by time, not lack.
Now let’s bring our hand to touch,
look how quietly she’s grown so much,
how she never hesitates or has any doubt,
how she breathes, pure grace, within and without.
We can wrap our arms around the tree,
tune in to the immovable power of she,
feel our hearts pattering and sure
soothed under the weight of all that we were.
Feel the tree’s heartbeat against our own,
feel the kindness the tree has shown
to so many of us needing to calm our fears,
maybe for thousands upon thousands of years.
Let’s turn an eye to the branches of trees,
curved into their sacred geometries,
arching in a final, undulating dance
as they move toward their skyward chance.
Maybe leaves have fallen and winter’s come.
Maybe spring has returned as Earth’s great sum,
alive with green ripeness, soft and course,
ready to receive from the celestial source.
Up there, so high, there is no fear.
The ground holds space; the ground is near.
The breath of life hums through the tree,
which demands nothing, and is full, and is free.
This is how calm can be regained,
how a balm for mad minds can be reclaimed,
as we drop to our knees and bow,
in the presence of a holy now,
so we can come to rest with ease and glee
at having become a glorious tree.