Today I attended a dharma talk in Point Reyes Station. Susan Moon continued the theme of trees by speaking of a favorite childhood tree, and talking about famous trees in history, so the tallest, biggest, oldest. I learned that wood stores carbon so the wood lining the church windows and walls, the pews, the piano, all help with climate change. Wood products store carbon for life. No wonder I love wood so, no matter what its form.
We divided into threes to talk about how our childhoods were affected by either a personal tree or a troupe of them.
I spoke about the tree I climbed up into as a child to sit on top of the world feeling embraced. I also spoke of the Redwood tree that reached out to me to stroke my back with a branch when, as an adult, I was crying. Then, I remembered back to when we lived on the Mississippi River, and I walked in what I perceived of as my own personal forest. I was around ten.
One man spoke of raking leaves as a child. It was a meditation and even as he spoke, I felt a comforting sweep, the rhythm of breath surrendering to a task. We bonded in sharing our memories of trees.
More observant now, receptive, we looked outside and noticed that trees were looking into the room, and even though rooted, were swaying in the wind. We walked out grateful for all that trees give: oxygen, witnessing, shade, texture, variety, food, and emotional support.