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30 Days with A Madrona - Day 8 - She Whispers Her Name

I go among trees and sit still.

All my stirring becomes quiet

around me like circles on water.

-Wendell Berry

I sit and rest my back against the body of the madrona and feel relaxation stream through mine. My breathing softens. My senses open. I sense the wind stirring my skin and hear the shifting of leaves like sand flowing across a dune. I see clouds pass through limbs and notice my brain easing.

I think that part of the brain needs to watch clouds, to watch limbs blow in the wind. It restores us to equilibrium. It gives the frontal cortex a needed break. My thoughts give way to awareness of what is all around me. Dolly snaps at a fly and looks out to sea where the twilight sun flickers across the water top. She seems to be caught in contemplation but I would not call it thinking. It seems to be a natural state of dog mind, pure sensory reverie, in the moment. For five minutes she does not stir but stares at the sea. A crow visits and complains loudly at our encroachment.

I wonder about the madrona’s sensory aliveness. Can it feel me on its branch? Does it feel the smallest root below it absorbing minerals and water from the ground? Does it feel the crow’s scaly feet clutching a branch? Does it hear the caw?

I pause in the presence. The tree, the dog, the crow, me. Swallows now arrive silently swooping in over the grasses like little fighter planes. Up in the woods above a barred owl calls. The wind continues to brush the leaves. I lay down on the branch and feel my nervous system settle down. The affairs of the world drop to the ground like rain.

I wonder about the tree’s name. Does it have one? Many people have asked me if it does. While listening, I hear the word, ‘Madonna’ fill my awareness. I speak it out loud and feel a rush of subtle tingling around my face and head. “Madonna.” It feels right. Thirteen trunks that rise out of a single trunk. My Lady. Mother of the Light.

Tree Haiku - Day 8 flower offering wherever a tree blossoms there the heart rises

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