Part 3 | Womb of the Wild
Eventually and carefully I reached a cradle right in the heart of the tree.
What I am calling a “cradle” was the central place of the tree where the strongest limbs gave way from the trunk. The space therein was precisely the size of me, a perfect seat, a forest womb. I sat for a while there with my legs folded and my arms clutching the nearest branch for stability.
But then there came a great wind. Oh, how the leaves gleamed in their greens and yellows as the sun shone through their dancing!
I stood in the cradle to witness the flickering sight, the wind playing at my hair.
An even greater gust rushed the tree and took me a bit off balance--
And I was afraid again. Not of snakes, but of…damn it, I was just afraid.
Pure fear. That is exactly what it was.
In a moment, I felt afraid of everything. My life. My calling. My inability to meditate. My relationship with snakes.
The wind continued to course around that old tree and I continued to brace myself in the cradle holding onto nearby limbs. I could feel the leaves’ energy shimmy down through the branches. Even the thickest limbs swayed in the wind.
Maybe it was curiosity, or maybe it was intuition, but I reached out and put both of my hands on the trunk of the tree. It was much easier to grasp the branches; I could wrap my arms completely around them, but they were moving in the whirlwind. The trunk, however, its circumference two times the span of my arms, remained sturdy and immovable under my hands. I could feel the barest murmurs of the leaves’ quivering through the rough bark, but the tree’s core remained completely sure.
Stand with the trees, I heard.
I stand with the trees, I breathed.
The call and response was an unwritten liturgy of blessing. It rolled a pronouncement over me, crowning my head and rooting through my feet into the tree. Something I can only describe as wildness was all over me—breezing through my hair, rushing in my own breath, drawing every inch of my matter to presence in that moment.
Creation is wild, and I knew that I was a part of it.
The wild wonder of creation—and the Spirit wooing it all in continual process—resides in me as it does that gushing wind, those dancing leaves, and any precious slithering creature hiding from my noisy climb.
It is risky to climb trees, to commune with creation and Creator. It can be threatening, even, to connect with oneself. I realized in the cradle of that tree, in the arms of a life-form eight times or better my own age, that freedom and clarity of purpose lay so close to humanity all the time. Reminders of who we are as keepers, guards, and nurturers of God’s gardens are just out of doors. And yet it is so risky to look our re-minders in their wild eyes, or rough bark, or animal soul.
Connection will always be risky.
The world is not tame, but neither am I.
As the wind swirled through the leaves and swept at my hair, I knew where I stood. With the rooted trees and the persistent wind. With the risk and the beauty and the creativity. With the wildness. I belonged there.
I want someone to tell me how all of that took place inside thirty minutes of silence.
Thank you for reading my wild tree story. How have you experienced your wild and wonderful connection with creation and Creator?