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30 Days with a Madrona - Day 9 - The Devious One

When running a campaign that asks for financial support needed to do one’s work, it’s tempting to get caught up in assessing how things are going based on contributions coming in. It is part of frontal lobe linear, rational thinking, separated mindedness. I knew this doubt would enter at some point, that it would come during lulls in participation. What am I doing? Does it matter?

I should name this doubter. He comes to visit in every creative enterprise I have ever embarked on. He infiltrates my thoughts when the chips are down. He undermines confidence when the night is cold. He sabotages my sense of purpose when expectations falter. I’ll call him DEVIOUS. He wrestles the natural inborn sense of well being out from the present moment and pins it to the mat. He makes me forget what Keats said: The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

I forget the magic. It is all around me always. I forget. So I make a twice a day pilgrimage to this madrona to sharpen my senses. To pause and feel presence with a tree. And when I do then I remember the second (and primary) of three reasons I am doing this: To get others to take notice of a tree in their life. To touch it. To offer it something (a flower?). To breathe with it. To let it infiltrate them. Slowly, oh so slowly can we allow nature a more central place in our daily lives? Can a tree be a portal to that?

I then recall the stories that are coming in; Katrina discovering that pausing and allowing a tree bough to brush her head cleared her mind and softened her thoughts. Donia came up to the Madrona at night thinking it was kind of nuts connecting with a tree and finding that laying on a limb allowed her body to align. A hip problem she had been experiencing shifted into balance. Wendy visited the madrona many times while she was here from Canada. Yami and Barbara who brought it flowers. Stanford who visited.

Julia who climbed its heights. Kimberly who is doing her own thirty days with a walnut tree in her yard and having deepening experiences with it. Clif who visited an incense cedar on his property and had a moment of spacious awareness of the love he felt for the land. Rob who called me to say that a dozen children were playing in Madonna’s heights. How Jo offers her support every day and holds the deeper intent of why I am doing this. Day by day, the messages coming in from Facebook abut connections people are having with a tree. Not to mention the 46 people who have supported the campaign.

And then there is the third reason for doing this: To see how being with a tree for 30 days will change me…

All things begin from stillness. Movement often begins slowly to move, sometimes so slowly that if you looked at it, you would swear it was not moving at all. Like a tree. One forgets it is growing because you cant see it. DEVIOUS infiltrates.

I make my pilgrimage. All pilgrims wrestle with doubt at some point on their journey. The world asks them, What are you doing? Are you being productive? We only have one answer:

I carry on.

Tree Haiku - Day 9 beneath skin of bark reaching up for the wild joyfilled soft hearted now

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