Slowing Down to Tree Time

photo of a tree's branches against the sky

I was on my land briefly yesterday, not long enough to offer to bring back many messages for friends. But on Sunday, a friend had asked me for my thoughts on an issue regarding justice work, and, with her permission, I asked the land to help us.

The message I received was for her, and for me, and, I’m realizing, for all of us who long to breathe a better world into being.

Here is I received.

Upon my land is a tree who watches over and guards the mouth of the hollow, as well as the life of all who live in it. She is a particular friend. To me, she calls herself “I Watch.”

Yesterday, when I requested a message, it was I Watch who called me to her.
She asked me to slow down and breathe. Then she talked to me about Tree Time.

Tree Time works on a different time scale than human time. They live much longer and stay in one place, and much of their lives is spent in contemplation and observation.

Being in the presence of an ancient tree almost automatically causes a human’s heart rate to slow, their mind to calm. This is because it automatically shifts us into Tree Time.

The trees know that change, true, deep change, doesn’t happen all at once. Certainly a single event can set in motion consequences that have far-reaching implications, but even then, all of the consequences are not seen for years or decades or generations.

So also, the trees encourage us to slow down. Dig deep into our roots. Observe what we find there, both that which nourishes and that which harms.

Reach high above and observe. What is manifesting that is beautiful and cleansing? What is manifesting that is toxic?

The trees urge us not to hurry or rush. In hurry and rush, we make rash mistakes, we may fail to see the root of the problem. In hurry and rush, we may also fail to see the impact of our choices and actions, for both good and harm.

We may give ourselves too little credit. Or too much blame.

We are each only one among millions. One tree in the forest may do a great deal to regulate the life of a forest. One person with a chain saw and little regard for life may do a great deal to harm it.

But in the end, it is the collective action of all who are connected that leads to large scale outcomes.

We are being encouraged to slow down to Tree Time and examine the roots and branches of recent events, then to establish a plan that calls on and promotes a unified movement toward what is beneficial and life-affirming for all.

We are encouraged to go into Tree Time and see what we have already accomplished and draw on that knowledge for nourishment.

And then we are encouraged to seek the allies and the powers that we know will ally with us to begin to build unity within the “forest.”

Thus spoke the land. Thus spoke I Watch.