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Sister of Trees


I went to my old stamping ground today - to pale streets softened by oak and elm, skies filled with hills. There, the air is different. Its wind stories are different. I felt like myself again walking through it. And I came away wondering how much of us is inside stuff, and how much outside. In other words, are our selves perhaps a relationship, a conversation we are having not only with our own minds and muscles and memories, but with the breeze and local trees and the land's contours? Who I am in my current neighbourhood beside the sea is very different from who I am in the oak shadows.

When I returned from there, I was greeted at the threshold of my village by a gaping brown space where a beautiful elm had stood only yesterday. They kill so many trees here. I don't understand them. How can anyone thrive when surrounded by soulless concrete and glass? What are they doing to their selves as they converse so contemptuously with the environment?

For a little while I got to whisper away with wild pansies and wonky hedges, grey breezes, old luxuriant trees. It changed how my muscles moved and heart dreamed. Maybe I shall go again next week.


  1. I'm slowly coming to realise that self/identity is less of a 'thing' and more of a process, and relationship is probably the most crucial part of that. Thank you for this.

  2. I believe we are. I trust the trees the flowers the grass beneath my feet. They see me as I see them.
    I can't say that with most humans. I don't understand their ways they make little sense. So I talk with the trees...
    Beautiful post, dear friend. ♥

  3. Oh no. Not the loss of an elm : ( Perhaps it was diseased, otherwise I don't understand it either.

    And I very much relate to the following: "who I am in my current neighbourhood beside the sea is very different from who I am in the oak shadows".
    I do believe very much that who we are is partially the land. That we are moulded by it as much as we have the ability to shape it in return. x

  4. I believe that we are where we come from, and where our ancestors lived too. We are palimpsests, every cell endlessly renewed such that we are basically a new body every seven years or so; and every cell endlessly imprinted with the memories and messages of a thousand generations, of other species, of the very rocks, waters, air that birthed us and all life...

    It’s utterly possible that we are, in addition, conversations between our bodies and our energies and those of whatever surrounds us. I sit on moss, or embrace a tree...My molecules mingle at some level with the moss, and who knows what we may say to each other? Who can say where I leave off and what I touch begins?

    Sorry about the elm. When I am downhearted and feeling unkind, I think that anyone who needlessly (frivolously, or “for practical” reasons like construction) removes a healthy tree ought to pay for it with a tooth... especially these days, when we are so many and things of the earth fall away from our concrete path as we advance ever outward...

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post.


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