Tag Archives: Advice

Elegy for a Walnut Tree

black walnuts on a tree image


Old friend now there is no one alive

Who remembers when you were young

It was high summer when I first saw you

In the blaze of day most of my life ago

With the dry grass whispering in your shade

And already you had lived through wars

And echoes of wars around your silence

Through days of parting and seasons of absence

With the house emptying as the years went their way

Until it was home to bats and swallows

And still when spring climbed toward summer

You opened once more the curled sleeping fingers

Of newborn leaves as though nothing had happened

You and the seasons spoke the same language

And all these years I have looked through your limbs

To the river below and the roofs and the night

And you were the way I saw the world

W. S. Merwin

Belledessa was deeply inspired by this poem and is her contribution to our ‘Advice From A Tree’ series!

Let It Be ~ Advice From A Tree

image of tree and garden for Let It Be by sharon schwarzHave you ever noticed how much trees contribute to our sense of community? As I sit here writing this I see a community of geese in my backyard gathered under a spectacular hackberry tree that serves as the center of our yard and the central gathering spot for the wildlife that graces our yard. No fewer than ten squirrels are scurrying about in search of stored treasures under the magnificent tree, while two others sit on a branch conversing with one another.

Trees line our rivers and fill our parks and serve as significant landmarks in our residential neighborhoods. Trees on the prairie mean people have settled there and community is thriving. We appreciate the presence of trees as a sign of abundance and opportunity for growth. While we appreciate their beauty and envy their magnificence how often do we take the time to actually interact with them? What if they crave our touch as much as we crave their shade in the summer? What if our kind words are as important to them as they are to our friends?

I have had the opportunity this summer at a workshop sponsored by GPEI and presented by Molly Traffas to take the time to actually talk to a tree and expect to get an answer. When the opportunity presented to actually speak and expect interaction I felt silly and childlike. I was certain that nothing much would happen but I attempted to remain open as this openness and expectation were emphasized throughout the day. I found that if I quiet myself and listen, really listen while expecting to receive an answer that nature does in fact speak to us in very real ways. At the time of the workshop that I am referencing, I was struggling with a personal decision. In discussing my issue with a large tree on the property, I looked up and saw that the limbs and leaves wrote out “Let it be”. My initial thought was that I was crazy and that the tree could not have actually given me an answer I could understand. As I sat there, I became more convinced that in fact this tree was speaking to me by its nature and in the words spelled out by its small branches and leaves. Whether it was my consciousness reflecting the answer to me, or the consciousness of the tree reflecting the answer, the answer was extremely meaningful to me in that time and place. Advice from a tree really is possible. Like so many things in life, openness and expectation precede a precious gift.

Sharon Schwarz, GPEI Board Member

Advice From The Trees

advice from the trees poem and image written by rita schwarz

Advice From A Tree

Each month we are going to be focusing on a topic of interest and inspiration. February’s topic is trees – with the emphasis on the wonderful advice we receive from trees when we can be quiet and centered enough to listen. Today’s entry is the original Advice from a Tree.

advice from a tree poem and image