Having just learned that 2011 is the International Year of Forests I immediately thought of this piece inspired by my high school friend Tim's music. Upon hearing Tim's music, I felt compelled to play it for the trees. I hope you'll take a moment or three to share this story of reaching for love and honoring trees....
When I’m fully present and aware (not distracted by things I think I have to do or am suppose to do), I’ve a sense of being at home inside myself. It’s in those moments that I hear, sense and see at another level the richer reality by which we’re all surrounded and in which we’re all connected.
For example, recently I stood at the stove cooking when my friend Tim’s music crossed my mind. Thanks to Facebook, Tim and I have crossed paths again. Although we were in high school together we really didn’t know one other. (Can you really know another as teenagers when one hardly knows oneself?) Now over thirty years later, we’ve discovered we’re kindred spirits as we share a love of Nature.
About a month ago, Tim messaged me, requesting my phone number. He wanted me to hear a bit of music he had written. If I liked it, he’d in turn send me a cassette if of course I had a cassette player. I smiled. We’ve at least two or three along with cassettes we occasionally play.
Later that day, the light on my land line blinked alerting me to a new message. (Yes, we still have a land line too.) I pressed ‘play’ and heard these beautiful chords seeming to reach from Tim’s guitar out into the ethers, into the Universe.
A thought crossed my mind as I listened to the brief clip. I thought…
‘This would be soothing to the trees.’
I had no idea which or what trees, but I immediately emailed Tim and shared my impression. He enthusiastically wrote back “Yes, I’d love for you to play it to the trees!” and within days, the cassette arrived.
We had company so I set it aside but I didn’t forget. I sensed I needed to wait for the right time although I didn’t quite know what that meant.
The time arrived last week as I prepared lunch. I stood at the stove stirring when Tim’s cassette crossed my mind. 'Was this the time?' I wondered. 'And if so, why?'
Within seconds of my wondering, I knew. In a magical moment of profound beauty, I knew for I heard. I heard the chain saws.
Tree cutting crews had been roaming the neighborhood cutting the trees I connect and commune with on morning walks. As someone who deeply loves trees and also desires to hold the whole of our world including the tree cutters and loggers in a conscious, loving way, seeing and hearing trees being cut always evokes mixed and deep feeling.
That very morning as I drove Jerry to work, I had noticed two trees one block over stripped of all their branches. I was hurried and didn’t want to see. It was too early to be ‘stirred’ too early to be feeling deeply. I didn’t even walk that day due to the earlier snow. I came home and busied myself until that moment I stood in the kitchen cooking.
That's when Tim's music crossed my mind and suddenly I knew why. The two trees nearby were coming down as all the trees seemed to call to me, “It’s time. It is time.”
I put in the cassette, turned up the sound and imagined the trees as they were cut being comforted by the peaceful vibrations of Tim’s guitar. I felt the sounds reaching the trees all along Natchez Trace, trees now missing their limbs nearest the power lines as well as those that hadn’t been cut. I sensed them all finding comfort as members of their family left this physical plane.
I felt them being soothed by the chords of Tim’s guitar as musical vibrations reached the trees in a beautiful chain of connectedness.
I want to play Tim's music again while walking down my street. I want to play it in honor of the rolling country hillsides where trees are logged daily in our home county not faraway. I want them to feel the vibration of beautiful music as they give their lives to become floors, press board and beams in walls, as they, the trees, become our homes.
I envision ribbons of loving sound reaching around the Earth, wrapping in the vibration of love the great Sequoias and Redwoods of the West Coast as well as the tree covered Appalachians and Adirondacks. I envision all the trees and people on Earth feeling joy and gratitude for the dance that we share, human and nature, connected by the heart's vibration, connected in loving appreciation.
This magical moment while stirring at my stove reminds me there are no ordinary moments. We are surrounded by a much richer reality in which we're invited to engage as we’re present and allow ourselves to be stirred.
Tim’s allowing his heart to be stirred is what originally birthed the piece he shared with me. I learned as we continued to exchange messages that Tim's longing to connect with his deceased wife prompted him to play the guitar chords that resonated with his heart’s chords. These sounds in turn resonated with my heart and my love for the trees. (Is it a coincidence that cords of wood heat many homes?)
|In Supai - in Havasu Canyon|
What beauty! Tim's yearning to connect, reaching for his beloved, allowed me to connect with my beloveds, the trees.
We humans get entangled debating global warming, the whys and why-nots and the right use of resources. I’m not saying that’s not important but it’s just as vital that we stop our side-taking and remember we are instruments of loving vibration walking Earth.
Nature, the trees, plants and animals, benefit most from our gratitude, from an awake heart, the source of Tim’s music and the source of all beauty.
On this Solstice Eve, the time of darkness, the world is made lighter by the chords of love connecting us all.
I'm grateful to all artists especially men who listen to and express their hearts yearning. And I thank you, Tim, for entrusting me with your music and allowing me permission to share this story.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 20 December 2010
and again 8 December 2011
P.S. Since initially posting this story a year ago, I've walked Natchez Trace several times with my cassette recorder in hand playing Tim's music for the trees.