Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Many Faces of Grandfather Tree

Walking through the garden with my camera the other day, my guides directed me to Grandfather Tree. The huge Sequoia (The Medicine Wheel) stands tall and proud in our yard; it overlooks the backyard, the house and the entire neighbourhood.

There are only a few large, tall trees left in my area of Qualicum Beach. Grandfather Tree is known far and wide...people might say, upon my telling them where I live, oh, you live with that great, old Tree in the yard. And they that tree still there?...with some trepidation.

That trepidation is warranted. People want to bulldoze entire lots of trees...they are under the impression it makes it easier to build, lets in more sun and light to the dwelling. Not as much trouble, time and expense, people say, to build on a clean slate...a bulldozed lot.

Well. They may be right. And trees do give their lives for our comfort...over and over again. But the advantages to living with Trees surrounding and sheltering the family...old trees, old, wise Grandfather Trees that awe and inspire are, in my humble opinion, far more numerous than the disadvantages.

I don't remember a time when there were no big trees enclosing my home and yard. In my youth (Granny G) I lived in the interior of BC, right in the middle of an apple and cherry orchard. Those big, old trees gave us wonderful fresh fruit...there is nothing as wonderful as apples and cherries picked and consumed right that minute.

Moving back to the Island, there were always fir and other conifer trees wherever I lived. Years ago, I learned to talk to the trees and discovered the comfort they would give. It was a safe haven for me, amongst those giants. I shared every big event in my life with theirs.

And now, for the first time in many years, I live on a city lot. It is a big piece of property, as lots go, and the only conifer in the yard is Grandfather Tree. The lot next door (A Space Left Behind) used to have many cedar and fir trees on it...but it was bulldozed. Grandfather Tree is the only tree in close proximity; and what an extraordinary beauty he has!

When I felt the urge to go take pictures of him, I had no idea what would turn up in the lens of my camera. I wanted to take closeups of the bark, show the deep, dark runnels of wood that ran down the length of the Tree. I wanted to illustrate the character of Grandfather Tree...the wisdom inherent within.

But suddenly, the faces of the Tree leapt out at me. I was in awe, snapping pictures as quickly as my little camera allowed. And not just faces, but animal figures, eagle head and a crow figure...and masks and fish. Many stories are told on the bark of Grandfather will take a long time to decipher them all. We find more each time we look.

My favourite face is the one pictured here. I think it was the long eyelashes that grabbed hold of me and didn't let go...I'm a sucker for long lashes.

I have many photos of different faces on the tree; they will be published when Blogger's difficulties are resolved.

As I wander through the yard, I find my awareness is heightened...I see the character...the being... in many of the plants very easily now.

And as an added bonus to the very great gift Grandfather Tree gave me when he allowed his inner being to become apparent to me, is that each time I stand in front of this face, I feel energy coursing throughout my body...much like the energy wave that travels through when Reiki is applied. There is an immediate lessening of any tenseness or anxiety within myself.

Now I understand why I have always been drawn to these big, old trees. If Grandfather Tree showers me with energy, all those forests I wandered through all my life...all those trees...perhaps they were also giving off positive energy to one sensitive to it. I only know I feel much more relaxed in the company of trees than just about anywhere.

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