The tree is crying. The one at the edge of the woods behind my home. The one that has had its home here, where I live now, long before I came home to this place.
I have been listening to its distress over the last several weeks. Its distress is a result of falling down during a previous storm, but instead of being able to completely fall, it got stuck between two other trees. The tree wants to complete its fall, to let go, but as it tries to let go, its wood rubs against the other trees and that sounds like a tree crying.
This sounds just like you would imagine a crying tree might sound like: a cry of wounded wood gasping for breath, a haunting ancient voice, a soulful hymn of mourning, an expression of an earthly grief.
I hear it cry when the wind blows. I hear it cry when the rain falls. Last night I heard it cry when I was outside at dusk with my basset hound, Winifred. The tree is leaning and old and ready to fall onto the earth to die. And so it cries. It mourns. It expresses its grief.
I cried along with it last night. I felt its tiredness. I felt its pain. I felt its loneliness. I felt the grief of the world. I felt my own grief. I uttered a prayer to the earth to relieve this tree of its suffering and let it die.
I know that once the tree breaks free and falls completely, the earth will tenderly hold it, love it, and transform its spirit into new life.
I know this is how the life/death/life cycle works.
I try to embrace this cycle in my own life by: living and loving fully, offering and receiving the energy of life; then when its time, letting go and accepting when things need to die, embracing the grief and absorbing its transformative energy; then, opening to receive the new life created from this death.
I do not mean to make this sound simple or linear. The life/death/life cycle is a complex, fearsome, mysterious cycle. Even so, it is a truth for all of us.
When we experience the death part of this cycle, we grieve. Grief is a powerful force. It is an ancient and mournful cry that calls out for our attention. It cannot be rushed. It must not be minimized. Rather, it must be embraced, trusted and respected; for then and only then, can we step into the transformation that carries us to the other side of our grieving, carries us to new life.
I believe that, currently, we are in the death part of the life cycle as a collective. What do we as a collective need to grieve now? What is calling out for our attention? Can you hear the cries of the things waiting to die, asking for liberation? Can you hear the cries of the trees, or the earth, or the stars, or the ocean, asking you to pay attention?
Can you hear the cries of your own soul, asking you to pay attention to your own grief?
This is a time of grief, collectively and individually. A time of loss. A time of fear. But it is also a time in which we can listen to the truth of our life. And in that listening learn how to let go, to fall, to land onto the soft blanket of the earth which is waiting to catch us. Waiting to love us. Waiting to transform us and offer us the gift of new life. When we do so, we come home to the place we are meant to be. A place within us that is unbreakable.
As always, Peace in the Journey,