Breathing In Tree Teaching with Horse Chestnut
It was a beautiful sunny day and I was walking past a sweet chestnut. The air smelt so fresh and clean and the leaves are bursting beautifully from buds, bright green against and intensely blue midday sky. There was not a plane, not a cloud, not a plume, not a fume to be seen. Fresh green leaves, fresh blue sky and fresh air.
Right now if you stand beside the trees you can almost see the buds bursting, burgeoning beauty, sweet sticky sap singing.
The sycamores are impatient they can’t wait to wave their canopies triumphantly in celebration of spring, the oaks are much more sedate not sending out leaves just yet but they are starting to put forth their small green bunches of tiny flowers. There is just a hint of a dint of dreams promised. Thousands of acorn spirits waiting to be born.
Some view the chestnut as an interloper, a ‘foreigner’, a weed that has no right to be here. But if we’re talking about weeds then surely mankind has to be the biggest pest of them all? You see it is just impossible to have that kind of thinking without at least considering the destination it will lead you to. Do trees have rights? The French certainly seem to think so. See my article on the French Declaration of Rights.
The Horse Chestnut towered above me, every branch visible but soon to be hidden with big broad size-of-a-handspan leaves. Its’ not quite as quick as the sycamore to seize the day but its’ not far behind. The chestnut beloved by children and parks everywhere grows into a mighty tree when left to its own devices.
This tree stood silent, not a breath of wind to wave its branches to. I stood under its burgeoning green and did nothing at all but gaze and feel and breathe…
How much bigger than me is this tree? How much taller? How much wider? The trees we see now are the last few breaths of a forest that once spread around the entire globe when the world was a sparkling blue and green jewel set upon the velvet of the cosmos.
The hawthorn last week really spoke about all the creatures’ trees support and I touched upon fresh air in last weeks’ teaching too. * I talked about essential trees are to our respiratory health. This chestnut went really deep into the breath.
I became really aware of my breathing, I felt the fresh air fill my lungs, I felt my body absorbing the vital oxygen energising me. I became aware of the feel of the air around me and how it envelopes all of everything.
Tree and air indivisible. We talk about the atmosphere and clouds, and rainbows and wind and temperature and rain. We don’t talk about trees. We associate colours such as blue, grey, and white with the atmosphere. We don’t think of green.
Yet green is a fundamental symbol of air. Trees absorb carbon and breathe out oxygen, they create microclimates around themselves. I have stood and watched clouds form above forests. Trees are rainmaker communiTrees.
No rain today. Just sunshine and sky and tree. I breathed in what the tree breathed out and the tree breathed in what I breathed out. How simple is this? How simple a thing and yet so unseen and undervalued.
I was filled with such gratitude for the air that this tree was giving me. The happiness and feeling of absolute contentment was complete.
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Coming soon the launch of our planting the Ancient and Sacred Trees of the Future for a Green and Growing CommuniTree™. I am so excited. Keep an eye out for the Positive newsletter which will list what is happening.
*For more information on the link between air pollution and respiratory disease (including the variant of Corona Viruses) please see my previous article.
I've had some technical problems but hope to update with the forest bathing audio meditation soon.
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