Have You Hugged A Tree Lately?

I’ve read more than once that if you feel like you need to be grounded or if you can’t sleep at night, to go outside and hug a tree…just wrap your arms around it as best you can and for as long as you like. You will feel its energy and you will feel more grounded. I’ve recommended it to several clients over the years and I have done it myself many times. There’s so much we get from nature. Writing about trees may seem simple or trite but as I put this piece together I realized how powerful trees have been in my life.

Every morning I sit in our living room, in the most comfortable chair, and do my meditations looking out our front window. There’s a large tree in our neighbors’ yard that winks at me. It was a while back when I noticed its face – well, two eyes, one of them winking, and an open mouth. Now every morning I look for this friendly face and am happy to see that it’s still there. I like that it’s winking, it reminds me not to take everything so seriously, as I can get mired in deep-thinking shit. I haven’t really mentioned it before because there was a tree stump in a beautiful park in Tacoma, WA where I saw a face. Others didn’t see it.

Can you make out the tree face?

Tacoma, WA

Anyway, I find my winking tree rather comforting. I don’t think I’m anthropomorphizing it. I don’t believe it has feelings like humans do, but I am seeing it as a sign from the universe that I am being watched over and everything’s going to be ok. Or at least that’s the meaning I’m giving it.

I appreciate nature and the outdoors but don’t really see myself as an overly outdoorsy type, if you know what I mean. But, as I mentioned, in writing this post, I realized how many connections I have with trees and how much respect I have for them. And looking at pictures I’ve taken with my phone over the years, I see I’ve taken a lot of photos of trees. There’s even one I fell in love with on a short weekend trip to Austin, TX three years ago.

Austin, TX

Six or seven years ago I went with a friend to Crescent Lake in the Olympic National Park in Washington State. It was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t get over how gorgeous the trees were there. My friend later told me that she couldn’t believe how much I appreciated the trees and she finds herself noticing and appreciating trees more now.

Crescent Lake, WA

Trees in Pennsylvania

When I moved back to Pennsylvania, there was the largest gingko tree I had ever seen in a cemetery near my condo. Every day our dog walk included going to look at it. It was a touchstone of sorts for me. I found it comforting. A couple years ago there was an article in the local newspaper about “my” tree with a picture of it and some catchy title like “Tree-mendous Site.” It stated that it was the second largest gingko tree in Pennsylvania.

My ginkgo tree

Trees Communicate

There is a book I read years ago about trees called The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. It wasn’t an easy read for me but it was a worthwhile one. I learned a little about how trees communicate with each other. If my memory serves me correctly, it’s largely through scent. I also learned they can send warnings to other trees through their roots if there’s danger, ie. some kind of disease, and they can send certain nutrients to nearby trees if they know they are in need of some. I realized there is so much more to them than meets the eye. The Overstory by Richard Powers is a book “about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests.” This book also wasn’t an easy read but definitely a worthwhile one.

Well, we’ve come to the end of my little tribute to trees. I hope you will notice all the trees as you go on your way today. Say hello to my tree-guide below. And if you feel the need, stop and hug a tree.

3 responses to “Have You Hugged A Tree Lately?”

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