a gathering of birch

My heart is a trifle sad today, despite the fresh, cool change in the air. When I get like this I have to try super hard to keep my head above water, to stop it from falling deep down. Today, to balm my bitter mood, I’ve been reading about trees (trees make me very happy), and how they communicate with one another. This article, in particular, has proven to be an interesting little read.

So instead of wallowing in an unhealthy swill of fear, dread, worry, and doubt, I’m choosing to simply listen to the birds outside, to the rain that’s been falling for four days (on the heels of a short but dreadful drought), and to the rustling of the leaves in the trees outside. I’m definitely choosing to listen to this advice from Leo Babuta of Zen Habits (who I think is just wonderful).

I usually feel too much. I feel all the world’s weight. I read about trees communicating through gaseous exhalations, how they talk to their kin and warn them of infestation, and I worry about the trees outside my window. Our landlord cut down a pretty ginkgo tree earlier this summer, and I worried about how it felt to be cut down. Did it sense the impending danger; could it hear his barefooted steps or see a quick glint of silver from his saw? It’s silly of me, I know, their communication skills are chemical, not visual or vocal or auditory. We’re chemical beings though, too. We gather together just like trees in huddled groups. Sometimes we’re lonely if our seeds are sown too far away from the forest where we were born. We try to find kindred souls, those who might think like us, or love the same things that we do. Trees do, too.

I wanted to make my point more clear, but the cogs and the wheel and the muse are all orange with rust today. All the rain, I guess. It’s quieted my usual shouts to dull murmurs.

You know that feeling when you stand in the woods and the wind picks up and rustles the trees in waves? If it’s late autumn, leaves will rain down and cover the ground with orange, red, and gold. Do you ever get the feeling that the trees might be talking to one another? Sighing and waiting in communion? I love those moments. It’s nice to see that, on some level, they really are talking to each other. Maybe if we’re quiet enough we can hear and understand what they’re saying.

Birch trees, especially, are heavy on my head. I even made this treasury on Etsy, which is a new, addictive habit: A Gathering of Birch.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back with more comprehensive words. I’m almost finished editing the For Real issue of Far Away, so that’s a happy happy, too.


4 thoughts on “a gathering of birch

  1. Oh, I live beneath ancient oaks. Okay, two, three hundred years old. Ancient for around here. And I KNOW they talk. Their conversation sustains me when nothing else does. I am so grateful to live in their presence for now.

  2. I understand the core of this feeling, if it expresses itself in different ways. I’m keeping my head above water, but it’s only very recently that I had to stop struggling with every waking second.

    I hope tonight is kind to you, and that there are some peaceful moments amid the “internal chaos.” (I use this particular phrase because it was my handle when I was a 15-year-old on local bulletin boards. I once wrote a paper: “InternalChaos: More than a handle; also a way of life.”)


"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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