Timing, truly is everything. When the soil is just warm enough, certain seeds will germinate. When our place within the river of time is at just the right moment, our synchronization with the eternal seems to be inevitable. Having studied the medicinal and health value of foods and herbs since adolescence, I have learned that stresses often change what we need, when and how much. The delicate balance of even something as rudimentary and seemingly miniscule as a calorie can have an impact far beyond our awareness and comprehension. I have crossed ice covered streams in the morning, only to see them free flowing that same afternoon and bicycled through knee deep snow that as the temperature dropped after dark became rock hard ice that would have stopped me in my tracks if the phase would have shifted just a few hours earlier. On occasion, the “window” of time available for certain actions or realizations is brief, just as the sun may peek through heavy cloud cover far away across the landscape, seeing the sun hit the ground somewhere else often quickens the heart and makes us more confident that our time in the sun may be close at hand. The same is true for humans. When we spend time with enlightened beings, we feel more confident that our own time of grace is coming.
My tree planting efforts have always felt a little premature, simply because our social order had not caught up to the awareness that I had for the environment. As more people grow to have a basic understanding of environmental issues, it has changed the climate of social thought as well, so things that I understood twenty odd years ago, thirty, or even forty years ago are starting to be understood by larger and larger numbers of people. These posts seek to share some of those insights and with luck, they will fall into the hands of people who are at the right point in their development to integrate not only the information but the spirit behind the words into a greater whole. Like the herbalist, naturopath or shaman, when the individual reaches out, they are most likely to be changed. In the spirit of healing then, let me talk about trees.
I have seen hundreds of trees die. Not for lack of water, because they have been given extreme amounts of care. I have seen them die if for no other reason than extreme loneliness. If they had been planted with a dozen of their brethren, they would have been fine, but the extreme conditions of their isolation was too much for their physiology. The place in time that they occupied was either too early or too late in the progression of the equinoxes. As a struggling artist, my tree planting was necessarily efficient. When we started planting trees in the eighties, I remember the cheapest ones being $0.67, just a little more than a cup of joe or a can of soda pop. If I had it to do again, I would not have done anything differently, but the impact we could have had with a bit more funding would have been significant. As they say, however, all things in time…
My point about the price of trees is not so much that the costs of seedlings have increased, but that when we planted, all those years ago, we made the same sorts of decisions that we make today. We try to do the most good with the least exposure to risk for each and every tree that we plant. Like with our own lives, we try to put ourselves in places that we will do the most good, not only for ourselves, but for others. This is easier to do in some ways with a tree. We know what sorts of soils they will thrive in and which will add stress to their relatively long lives. We usually can study their requirements for water, or perhaps the soil acidity range that they prefer. Books have been written, if you know where to look, about virtually any sort of stressor and limitation that the tree may face. Humans are even more complex in their requirements and face their own mortality far sooner than many trees, learning to make the most of where we are and what we have been given is tricky, but if we keep our eyes open and effectively overcome the haste with which our ego tries to lie to us, we will find others who help us to grow and to thrive. Take time to be in the moment, be careful not to accept the definition of self that you have created. you are surely more than our limited understanding can define.
We are all manifestations of the infinite.