Monday, April 16, 2007

Grandfather Tree's Story

Grandfather Tree and I have had many occasions in the past five years to sit down together and speak with each other. He has told me a little of his story; I have told him mine.

I wrote about how he began his life here on our property some time ago, and then saved and forgot about it, until Gray reminded me by telling me something he had heard about Grandfather.

There were many parallels I could not have known about... this is one example of how plants will "tell" us what we want or need to know. It was wonderful to me to be able to corroborate a 'feeling' or intuitive thought from Grandfather...and find it to be true.

I'm presently reading two of Stephen Harrod Buhner's books...The Lost Language of Plants and Sacred Plant Medicine. In both works, he has clearly shown how we have lost our ability to communicate with the Plant World; his words are a reminder to me that plants are Mother Earth's natural healers...and that they are fully sentient.

On a warm day last Summer, when the only cool spot for miles around is under Grandfather Tree, where a breeze always sings a song...I felt the urge to speak with him. He took me on a journey that seemed strange to me at the time.

I was riding in an old vehicle...a vintage car, where there were no springs and very little comfort. It was black in the interior and very warm. There seemed to be many children, also...from a young toddler to pre-teens, with us all riding in this jouncy, bouncy conveyance.

It seemed as if we were traveling very quickly. Yet, how could it feel so, when somehow I knew this old car would only be chugging along, at best? And I could not really see the children. I could hear them clearly, and felt a strong energy signature coming from each.

But where was I? And then I saw the wooden box, placed on top of leather luggage, almost as an afterthought. Every time there was a bounce in the car, the box would jolt, and a small layer of dirt would appear to trickle from the side of it. Inside the box, where I seemed to be, was a layer of baby of whom was Grandfather Tree.

This family was on holiday. There seemed to be much singing and laughter and tired tears. The trip seemed interminable. I wondered where we were coming from and where we were. I was given the answer...this family was from California. They traveled to Vancouver Island every year for summer holidays. I saw a small cabin as their destination...the forerunner to the home in which I now live.

I saw the older boy take the box of seedlings and place them in a corner of the yard, when we arrived. And then...I saw lightning strike a far more mature Grandfather Tree, three times. Sequoia's bark is very thick and fibrous, non-resinous and it is very resistant to Fire, but the heat from the Lightning strike did leave scars. They are apparent to an expert, but I did not know Grandfather had been struck three times, until I was told by an arborist.

With the Lightning, and the resultant feeling of extreme heat, I came out of my meditation and wondered at what I had seen. I wrote it down as a children's story, one I thought I would expand on for my grandchildren. But it faded into the background, with life's events taking precedence.

Grandfather Tree is not indigenous to this area. We did not know he was of the Sequoia genus until after we bought our home. But he is well known to the folks that have lived here for a long time...when I explain where I live, some residents ask about the big, tall Tree in the garden. Is he still alive and well?

And I tell them he is doing very well.

But Gray heard an explanation, a few days ago, of why we have a Sequoia growing, with great gusto, in the yard. He heard there was a lady from California who used to vacation here, many long years ago...and she planted quite a few Sequoias in the general area.

He brought the news home...

It took me a minute or two...and then the light bulb went on!

I had already written Grandfather Tree's story, when I thought it was just that...a happy, little tale to tell my grandchildren.

It was a reminder to me. A reminder to take my gift of communications with Animal and Plant beings seriously and with awe. A reminder to believe in myself.

And a reminder to believe in the stories I hear from Grandfather Tree.


  1. Hi Marion, I have a special surprise for you over on my site.

  2. Marion, I don't know how you do it, but I love that you share your connections. Maybe we need to try a little to hear those voices so ignored.

  3. It was so nice to read this, we just had a tree cut out from our back yard by the owners and were sad to see it goes, my neighbour complained about the leaves falling in her yard and the owner had so been fed up with complaints they decided to just chop it. :-( I got a few great piccies in before it went, it's on my bloggy.
    I love your tree pics Marion.

  4. Artist, what an amazing surprise, especially coming from one of the greatest thinkers I know!

    You have also given me the gift of the names of other sites, which I am looking forward to visiting. Thank you so much!

    Sheila, we have forgotten the language of plants and animals. I think we have forgotten so many things that would make life here better and easier, if we could only remember how.

    Thanks so much for joining me in my struggle to remember!

  5. Marion, thank you for sharing your story of Grandfather Tree! It was lovely, and the photos? Superb!

    btw...creepiness is coming by my place tomorrow. I knew you'd want to be creeped out =)

  6. I love your tree text, cross-species content, reaching across the gap created between humans and all other life forms. I want to hear the tales of the great tree. I knew a woman once who could talk to plants. I felt humble in her presence. We had found a tiny purple trillion growing in a redwood grove and she was able to commune with it.

  7. How lovely to have that connection.

    Next door there is a mulberry tree which must be 100 years old as it would have been planted by the owner of an orchard that was where our buildings are now. Unfortunately my complex committee decided to chop all the beautiful branches off that came over our made me cry. I am so glad it survived but it looks so sad.

  8. It was nice to read about your Grand Father Tree. It is true that the art of communicating with plants and animals has been lost to most. Yet, when you realize that the plants and the animals do have a special way to talk to us and they also listen, then the whole world and the relization that everything is one takes on a reality. When you look at a tree and enjoy it's shade and are thankful for it, the tree can sense the vibrations of your comfort. When you see or smell a flower it is a way we communicate with them. Animals talk in a way that aids our education on life. All we have to do is listen, look and feel. They do.

  9. Hann, I have always had trouble understanding why leaves in someone's yard would be enough to take down a tree...especially when leaf mulch nourishes the soil so much. And so many stories are lost!

  10. You must ask grandfather tree for some more stories as I bet he has many to tell. Thanks.

  11. Tracy, your post and pictures are really enjoyable...I would have loved to poke apart that creepy thing! You did so well with the photo of the owl and the hook adding to the suspense of your text. You are a very courageous blogger, to go so far for your readers' satisfaction, lol!

    Princess,there are many times Grandfather has urged me to sit down and speak. At times, I have been too "busy"; at times, I have ignored his urging. I will make time now, I will listen because of his wisdom which emanates from him in waves.

    According to Sequoia-Kings Canyon ( the oldest Sequoia of authentic record was 3,124 years old when cut down in Converse basin. Can you imagine the wealth of knowledge in that tree?

  12. Jackie, Mulberry trees are so beautiful and I love the fruit. I have a young weeping Mulberry by the pond...the goldfish seem to love the fruit that falls!

    Mulberries seem to take pruning well; it rejuvenates them if done properly. I know what you mean, though, those naked scars from cutting the branches can look so forlorn.

  13. "All we have to do is listen, look and feel. They do." Exactly, Dave.

    Thank you, over and over, for visiting my site and putting the lesson which I have been struggling to put down in plain English in such simply wonderful terms. I appreciate every comment from you, wholeheartedly. Thank you for your support!

  14. A great story, Marion. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. GREAT stuff!

    Have you submitted for the newest carnival yet? I wouldn't want to influence you - laughing - but this is really a great post. 8-)

    I had a problem tonight, too little time. Something different, naught. Hate it when life interferes in connecting with my blog buddies.

    Looking forward to returning for further comments. Have a great week!

  16. If it's a Sequoia, no wonder you call it your Grandfather Tree! What an interesting story, Marion. I don't think I've ever talked to a plant, and I know I've never listened to one, but you've given me lots to think about. I do have great respect for trees and grieve over the way sub-divisions come in and scrape the earth. We live surrounded by woods, but I'm terribly allergic to poison ivy and have to enjoy them from afar.

  17. Hi Marion,
    I stopped to visit and see if the tree had grown. :) And of course it had.... with all these people watering it.

  18. Thanks for visiting, Simon...glad you're back!

    Davem, in the summertime, on a hot day, there is nothing better than a quiet meditation under Grandfather Tree's branches...I am always being taken on one journey or another!

    Kilroy, I wish I had more time, too. It seems, in the Spring, there is so much to do, and I miss the routine of the Winter, when writing takes precedence over other things.

    On the other hand, I love Spring and the garden...I am torn now, between my computer and planting!

    You have a great week...we'll catch up when we have time!

  19. DB, plants have a wealth of knowledge. The wise men and women of old knew which plants helped and aided us, by communicating with them. Buhner, in his book Sacred Plant Medicine, tells how to re-connect with our plant allies. It works.

    As Buhner writes, and as I have learned before, for any malady humans may have, there is a plant that will alleviate it. By scraping the earth for subdivisions, etc. I would think we are silencing many voices. We have to come to our senses...and soon.

    I read something recently about poison ivy...I will have a look to see if I can find it, and let you know.

    Princess, you are always welcome...I wish you could actually see Grandfather and sit with would feel the wonderful energies emanating from him. He is really amazing.

  20. I've always loved trees and really enjoyed this post Marion. People don't appreciate trees and nature enough nowadays and so many are out to destroy it. I think we all need to be more aware of the environment we live in.

  21. J'adore toutes ces photos !
    Que je plains ceux qui sont obligés d'habiter en ville , qui ne profitent pas des merveilles de la nature !