In Idabel, I loved walking among the trees near my home. Tall pines felt like older siblings watching over me as I walked on a carpet of needles and cones. At the right time of year, pecan trees left a snack on the ground for me to munch. Others offered full leaves to shade me in the summer and dazzle me with their colors in the fall. In the winter, they showed their bare forms like not so shy maidens disrobed for their men’s admiration. In the spring they garbed themselves with colored blossoms.
I lived among trees when I was a child but was soon taken to live in the plains, where I spent most of my life. Once I was back with them I realized how much I missed them.
In the politics of my southern culture, “tree hugger” is a disparaging term, but I think I really am one of those people. I know for sure that trees have held and hugged me. When I was little, I would play among them and climb into the crook of my favorite to read a book.
What if all things, animate and otherwise, are connected spiritually? Science tells us that there is a constant exchange of atoms and molecules in which we all participate, sharing unseen particles with each other right now as well as with those of the past and future. What if connection goes even deeper than that and we are actually a part of each other? I may walk among trees, but I am also a part of the trees and the trees are a part of me. Jesus once prayed for oneness: “I in thee, and thee in me, and they in us.” Would that oneness include not only persons but also the trees, soil, air, sea, and stars?
It’s such a great thought and I love entertaining it. But if it’s true, why do we get so lonely? Is it possible to simply change our state of awareness so we can enjoy oneness with everything?
|photos by David Mercer|