Welcome! This is a place to share how we celebrate & deepen our relationship to Nature. Here you will find stories, images, & ideas about wilderness, human nature, & soulfulness. Drawing from the experiences of everyday living, the topics on this blog include: forays into the natural world, the writing life, community service, meditation, creativity, grief & loss, inspiration, & whatever else emerges from these. I invite you on this exploration of the wild within & outside of us: the inner/outer landscape.

Friday, November 5, 2021

The Welcoming Tree

The tree welcomed me into her embrace.


Walking along, breathing in the autumn landscape, I glanced over. Seeing that golden cascade of leaves, I paused. Then I stopped walking altogether and I just stood there quietly. Waiting and observing. 


A bit like momentum. Or, something besides me animating my feet. Not words in my brain, but some tug that drew me step-by-step closer to that tree. And I understood that she was inviting me in … 


asking me to come closer

encouraging me to climb in underneath her limbs

welcoming me into her embrace


As I drew ever closer, I took in the vastness of its branches, their outward curl at the bottom – a hoop skirt of leaves. 


I heard myself whisper aloud, “Yes, thank you. I would love to enter in.”


I ducked my head under a low limb and entered into the tree’s inner sanctum. The instant I entered, the lighting shifted; the ambiance underneath the limbs was markedly yellow, warmer, darker but also—strangely—more luminescent than outside the tree. 


Looking up, I took a very long heart-sip of that tree: individual leaf shapes, the branches dancing downward, the limbs’ ability to outline puzzle pieces of the blue sky above, the gentle music of breezes shivering the foliage. Is it okay to write that I fell in love again, again, again with a tree? That tree. In that moment of that particular yesterday.  


I stayed there a while with my new beloved: admiring, inhaling the Earthy scent, bowing in reverence, photographing her. 


Praying some words of gratitude, I retreated. And to playfully try for the effect again, I stood just outside her limbs, and then stepped inside – over and over. Each time it was the same—and just as powerful—as the first entry: 


saffron robes of the sacred compassionately coloring the world.  


(Orig. posted in Nov. 2019)

All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2021 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."