As waxing summer months remind us of our sun’s intensity,
how peaceful it is to find cooling shade under a tree. Even the
barest of trees will succeed in granting this reprieve.
Many summer’s past, hiking a trail on the driest days of late August, to my surprise I hear raindrops. There were no clouds, simply dry landscape, dusty trails, dry and hot. Sounds of sprinkling water called out for attention.
There were no water marks on the dusty dry fire trail, yet the faint rain drop sounds persisted. A soothing sound of water penetrated, despite the heat of the day and no sight of water.
Following the sound more closely, I noted that the trunk and branches of a Madrone tree shared a remarkable communication. It was the sound of bark snapping from the dryness of its trunk and branches, then falling to the ground like that of leaves in Fall.
It was as if the Madrone trees were consoling one another, consoling other’s living and breathing this landscape, also, with the knowledge that abundant water awaits us upon Autumn’s return—that we will be okay.
In our long distant past, the dawn of human life on planet Earth, trees too, spoke in ways inherent to a natural language shared by all life forms. Such language stood on its own merit, passed down through the ages of time, through ages of growth, through ages of wisdom seeking, and to times of indisputable biological and Spiritual fact.
Organically, and unobstructed by twisted words, the People responded to this language in the most honorable ways. The “Tree of Life” emerged in song, in story, in drawing, in painting, in Spiritual awareness, in daily attention to that which is right and wrong, in preparing for future generations to inherit all that is good. The Tree of Life stood at the center of community, at the center of life itself.
At first, I imagine the Tree stately standing at the center of a village—a gathering tree, in its inherent and vast language, calling out to any one or all that would listen, saying,
“Here I am, take my hand, walk with me, I, Tree of Life, will teach you the ways of our relatives, past, present and of future. A language of spoken words are not a necessity. Rather, you will learn the sounds and senses instinctively reverberating from and to this land of good heart. You will learn that the tree at the center is the Spiritual Center, a place to confront and defy the most brutal instincts of man. We can name the tree, the Tree of Ancestral Wisdoms.”
Though not an uncomplicated choice, never the less, the Tree of Ancestral Wisdoms continues to call out to us today for our immediate and undivided attention.
Today, I imagine that these Tree of Life Teachings begin with something as
“convene here; to learn and re-learn ancestral songs; convene here to re-hear the chants of the four legged ones, to hear the chorus of crickets, to hear the melodies of meadow larks, to take notice of braying burros, to understand the anthems of hawks, to recite the vocals of Raven, to awaken with ancient Salmon people, to sing the lullaby’s of Grandmother Owl.
“Congregate here around me to collect some fallen limbs for winter, to shelter your family and you from the ravages of excessiveness, to truly know the source of your clean water and air. Congregate here to recognize the entryway to our collective and highest self.”
Bill Jacobson is an artist, writer, active voice and Spiritual guide for the restoration, protection and preservation of Wild Salmon in Northern California creeks and rivers.