"Go Hug A Tree," He Would Say
Feeling down, feeling blue, feeling scattered. . .
“Go hug a tree, ” my father would say. Listening to my father was never my favorite activity; most of my life I opposed what he said (this wasn’t always true, and as I share more, you, my reader will understand), but I never really heard him until after his death. Then, I heard all his words in my head at moments when I needed him most. Recently, I needed his words.
The first tree I recall hugging occurred after he died.
I looked toward the Space Needle, as I crossed the street to the park. I spotted the tree, I felt as though the tree called to me “Colleen, come to me, I am here.” The huge trunk filled the breadth of my arms, and I felt the power, the energy of the earth. I could feel the force of nature and the steadfast brilliance of the tree serving its purpose all of the years as it cycles through the seasons. I embraced the comfort, and I relished in the perspective in the tree’s life where I stood, not in insignificance but rather in awe -- that if I am here, than there must be a purpose there must be a reason to continue. In that moment, I knew why my father told me to hug the trees.
I never kept up the practice of hugging a tree.
In March of 2017, I was finally ready to shed the remaining covers of depression; I started going for walks, and as I walked I heard that voice of my father, “hug a tree.” Reluctantly, I walked over to the tree, and I looked over my shoulder, around the park -- the coast was clear so I stretched one arm and put it around the tree trunk. With the touch, I felt the calming energy flow through my arm. My other arm quickly pulled myself closer to the tree. Relief filled my being. It washed through my bones shoving out the remaining darkness, reminding me of the light that I was seeking. For the first time in a long while, I felt the healing energy and comfort that I craved in every mitochondrion of my cells. A wise decision, I moved on to hug another tree. With the next, my spirit grounded with the Earth, and my feet were planted so that I would travel on my path with an open heart. I took a deep breath to drink in the divinity of the healing energy.
I think of the gift of those words of my father -- to stand before the tree and hug it. I know I picked one of the best teachers for my life, and he continues to teach beyond his human life. When I hug a tree, I feel the strength of the joys of all that can be. When I hug the tree, I feel the roots pump the energy of Mother Earth flowing up through the roots and into the trunk up to the newly energized leaves on the tree. When I hug the tree, I feel at one with my home in this Universe. My life experience continues to prove to me that when we are ready, the teachers do come, and sometimes, they are not another human. I encourage you to listen and look for those unexpected teachers, they can carry the most powerful, life altering messages. I recommend that you try hugging a tree.
Be sure to check for some little buggies so that you do not unexpectedly accept hitchhikers!