|Photo: Elizabeth Russell|
Lessons Learned From Grandfather Tree
Grandfather Tree is a black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) that grows in my neighbor’s yard. He and I have a special relationship, one that has taught me more about the concept of “we are one” than any human I know.
This tree gifts me with baby trees all the time - it’s a running joke between us. You see, Grandfather Tree likes to remind me of the wonders of nature, and Her indomitable spirit. I have come to have a deep appreciation for my friend over the past 11 years. He has a sense of humor (yes, all living things do!), he is protective, he is beautiful. Grandfather Tree has also taught me a great deal about myself, too.
After a particularly harsh winter, I nearly lost him. In desperation, I gave Grandfather Tree Reiki. This is when he showed me his face. It was beautiful, so serene, but with a twinkle in his eye. He was all shades of healthy and healing greens. And he smiled. And I could feel myself wrapped in warm, loving tree energy. People laugh when I say I love to hug trees. Not many believe me when I say that trees will hug you back if you are open to it. But oh, they give amazing hugs!
Here is a glimpse of what I’ve learned from Grandfather Tree.
· There is always a way. No matter how dark things seem, no matter how hopeless, there is always something you can do. It may be as simple as changing your perspective, which opens up new opportunities. Because I don’t want trees in the middle of my back yard, Grandfather finally gifted me with two at the property line, where I can keep them trimmed to a neat size and where they won’t interfere with my gardens.
· Never give up, never surrender. I know some of you are now thinking of the movie Galaxy Quest, from where I take this phrase. But like the Gorignak, a black locust is tenacious, and virtually unstoppable. He reminds us that we should always go after what is most important to us, to touch as many lives as we can with our spirit of generosity. Even in the face of uncertainty. We can do more than survive; we can thrive, especially with the support of those who believe in us.
· Love can make all the difference. Three years ago, when I first connected deeply with Grandfather Tree, I was at a very dark point in my own life. I felt defeated, my health was declining due to my work environment, and I was feeling very alone. Grandfather Tree’s spirit showered me with so much love that day that I knew I would be okay. He would be okay, and so would I. It didn’t mean my path would be easy. I did know, however, that I was not alone.
· Help often comes from where you least expect it. Sometimes we help ourselves by helping someone else. When I spent that hour giving Reiki to Grandfather Tree, I learned that our spirits recognized each other, that being human v. tree is only the outer trappings; in spirit we recognized each other’s worth and value. I give Grandfather Reiki, he gives me comfort, a shoulder to cry on, and solace when my soul is tired. Within Grandfather Tree, I found a friend who is never too busy or too tired to listen. And one who is always ready to give a comforting hug.
· We are all much more alike than we realize. Humans v. Trees. You wouldn’t think we were that alike, but consider this: Everything is made of energy, right? So, if we’re all energy, it’s simply the outer “shell” that is different.
Connecting with nature is one way for us to connect with the divine. Through nature, we see beyond ourselves, into the great expanse of the Universe. Whether it is in the sacred geometry that can be found in plants, or how geographical features can look like our body systems, it’s everywhere. We just need to look.
Lizbeth Russell, M.Ed, HHP, RMT, is an Intuitive Holistic Wellness Coach, Herbalist, Certified Angel Practitioner ™, and Kundalini Reiki Master. She holds a Master’s degree in Education, and over 25 years’ experience teaching Spanish, and is the owner of Lizbeth’s Botanicals and Linden Tree Intuitive. In 2015, she received her Holistic Health Practitioner diploma, with a focus on Herbal Medicine, through the American College of Healthcare Sciences.
www.lindentreeintuitive.com (coming soon!)