Brother Tree

My Brother Tree and I commune every day,

this wise and kindly sugar oak,

I receiving strength, peace, and courage from him.


I do not know what he receives from me.

I cannot fathom what I could offer such a being as a tree.

I only know that we exchange a kind of energy in those moments

and that my life is gladdened by his presence.


Did you know that if you stand beneath your favorite tree

and hold a spray of leaves against your face,

or pick up a good handful from the earth,

if you breathe in the almost magical scent of happy tree,

that the strength, peace, and courage of that tree

are infused into your body, your mind, and your heart?


Try it one day; it’s real,

but you have to be open to it.

You have to invite it.

Trees are gentlefolk; they do not enter unless invited.


All spring, all summer, the trees labor to make leaves,

flowers, oxygen

for the sustaining of life on this planet,

to make homes and food for birds, for squirrels,

for tiny spineless beings too myriad to count.


And in autumn they rest. They shed the parts of themselves

that are no longer useful,

no longer healthy,

no longer beneficial.

And they restore themselves,

readying themselves for next season’s tasks.


Would that we could attain the wisdom of the trees.

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