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30 Days with a Madrona - Day 7 - Arboreal Sadness

This entire campaign is a great intuitive social medium experiment. The medium is the tree. The social experiment is: what will happen to me, how will it impact my experience of life to be with one particular tree every day?

I feel I am becoming attuned with the Madrona. People have gone so far as to tell me I’m becoming a tree…not sure about that. But my allegiance towards it and feelings about it are growing and real. I am quickly losing the impulse to justify this to people who feel that developing a relationship with a tree is silly or imagining it to have a sentient life force is nonsense. (I will deal with the sentience idea as things develop in future blog writings).

As I feel a deepening between me and it, I also feel a growing sadness. I don’t know if this is my sadness or is coming from the tree. I am currently with a group of 40 dancers at Fort Worden in a powerful leadership training program. The madrona is a three minute walk from where we are doing the work. And while I have told them all abut my two-hour a day vigil with this tree and invited them to it, very few have visited it over the past four days.

Today, I sat in its limbs and watched twelve of them walk by it on their way to the dorms without a glance. It was a small thing but it hit at the heart of what I am intending. Can we develop a more conscious relationship with trees? Can we begin to take them less for granted? Can we begin a process where we actually connect with a tree every day? It is not difficult. I would imagine every person I know or anyone reading this lives, works or plays within a minute or two of a tree.

Facebook likes aren’t going to cut it, only a true physical engagement with a tree. That is the practice I am advocating for and will continue to advocate for.

I am too often an impatient person. I know I am dealing with enormous forces of distraction in the everyday world. Nature is taking more and more a back seat in humanity’s consciousness. To our extreme peril I am afraid.

The What’s Your TreeStory Campaign is a simple way among many ways to reverse this tide. We are too often too busy to be with nature in our lives anymore. We see the result. We are experiencing the neurosis, broken families, broken culture, extreme social problems as a result. What is the road back? Softening of the heart is the first step. And for me the second step is a step towards nature, really doing it. Touching a tree. Letting a tree become a living conscious presence in our daily lives. Letting go of having to understand what it will mean or what it will do.

Does this seem silly? I feel the deep sadness of watching the people passing by without a notice. And then I remember that there are those who are not passing it by. Who have told me they have visited this tree, some who have visited me while I have been there and those who share on Facebook about their daily practice with a tree. They are taking the journey. And 45 people who have stepped forward and committed to the campaign financially. The tribe is small. But tribes and movements always begin small. I will not lose hope. I send my roots down and raise my heart to the passing moon. I will touch a tree today.

Tree Haiku - day 7 Sadness walks beneath Tree limbs silently whisper You are not alone

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry. The tree told me its name…

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