Day 11 - Night Tree Listening
Tonight I approach Madonna (the madrona) as a large aware presence in the open field. I feel her as a great benevolent creature of power and kindness. She is darker than the sky around her as if she has sucked all the nearby light inside to feed on through the night.
I trail my hand along her thirteen trunks and circle her saying hello. Her bark is sometimes smooth as a woman’s thigh and other times scaly as an iguana. I rest my chest against her and do my tree breathing practice. Three breaths cycling from me into her and three cycling from her into me…
I step inside her bowl, the rounded earth where her thirteen trunks rise into the night sky. I test various places for my body to rest and lean back into. The limbs rise forever into the night and form a latticework of lace across the sky. I feel the immense strength of these trunks to hold such twisting rising masses that ride and sway in the wind and withstand the greatest of storms.
I breathe the sea air and listen to the wind rustle. I hear a voice-feeling inside me that says, Patience, I am here. Patience and rooting are the two main teachings she seems to bring to me every day. The words are spoken slowly and have great pause afterwards like a thousand whale breaths rising and falling.
I wonder if she is conscious of me or do I just imagine it? As I have this thought, a barred owl answers from the hillside woods above Fort Worden. I never hear this owl except when I am in the tree. It calls into the night as if it were some messenger spirit ally of Madonna. The owl, a guardian of doorways, of portals, of night seeing.
Dolly sits outside the tree in alert silence. I can feel her here in stillness though I can’t see her. She is coming to know Madonna as a kind of home and sits in repose on the grass while I am here. Then again, as if answering my thought about Dolly, a lone coyote howls from North beach. Her piercing cry rises through the night and sharpens the senses of all creatures around.
I listen as the tree listens. My body softens. My breathing deepens. I am not waiting. I am aware. And as I am I become aware of a background sound that has been there the whole time. Frog song, the late spring fading mating song of the chorus frogs, a few trying to get dates before last call at the bar.
Frogsong. Owlsong. Coyotesong. Windsong. Treesong. Breathsong. I listen as the tree breaths…
Tree Haiku - Day 11 breathing, just breathing leaning against this one tree the sky opens wide