What we find on our path #treeteaching.
There is a footpath I use regularly to get into the centre of town. I’m lucky, although I am just a couple minutes’ walk south to the centre of the small town, to the North I’m in the fields and woods and wild wanderings.
Today however, I was not heading out into my wild escape. Today I was heading into town to the post office. I have walked this path countless times. In fact, its’ featured in this blog before and probably will do again at some point.
I walk alongside the primary school and tucked in a corner between the school playing field, a small building and a carpark for the outdoor tennis courts is a tree. It would be easy to miss it, to overlook it, and I suppose that countless people do. In fact it is actually two trees. The silver birch stands with its friend the small hawthorn by its' side and watches the world go by.
It is a gentle and graceful tree, its branches reaching down low while its crown reaches upwards, its delicate branches dappling the light beneath. It was such a beautiful day and the birch was bathed in light. Bella, as ever, was by my side. She teaches me to go slow as she mooches along stopping to sniff the flowers. We go everywhere together.
The tree stood still and the sun glinted off leaves and made the white on the trunk glow. By its’ side the hawthorn stood beneath in its May time flowers and darker denser covering of leaves. A haven of green in a little patch by the hedge. The grass forgotten for a time was shaggy and tufted. Somewhere up in the hidden branches, the birds were going about their daily business.
We weren’t in a hurry. Me and Bella took the time to stop look and listen. Where else was there to be? What could possibly have brought more contentment than that tranquil scene?
The sound of birdsong is one of my greatest pleasures.
Here on this path, near the middle of town between the school and the houses, among the hedges, on a quiet sunny late spring day the air was filled with their song. They remained unseen but everywhere there was a hedge or tree their joyful singing could be heard.
I walked under the Birches’ canopy and looked up to see patches of cornflower blue sky between the leaves. The sun danced along the edges of the leaves. Everything seemed to glow from within. The day was calm and peaceful, I was calm and peaceful.
Walking the path I took time to stop. No matter the destination, making time for slowing down and listening to sounds other than the ones in our heads is to make time for us to connect with our simple joys. It is these that bring contentment.
Here is a short film taken at the time, I hope you enjoy it and the birdsong.
There was the tree, me and the space between. Witness, witnessed and the witnessing and experience where all comes together.
I had stepped in to the world of this tree and it was far more dear to me than the human driven destination I was headed. Our destinations, no matter what they be, are so fleeting but the world of trees lives on. In a fast paced world of thoughts and sensations it is the natural world with its constancy that draws me in. Stopping and standing and savouring my time on the path, I was less a human thought filled shape, and more a living breathing being in tune with the land and its beings.
This intimate awareness of creation and our place of it and in it.
If I can experience this on a path into town what might you find on your own path today?
Love Amanda Claire
PS See the latest to the Ancient and Sacred Trees Mission, planting Trees! Affordable activism from your armchair! Explore our website to find out more but first start here.