Daily Archives: December 17, 2013

Branches and Roots

Day 85

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

You are an enormous and ancient tree.

A Redwood maybe, or Sequoia. Tulip Poplar or Sycamore if you’d prefer.

Standing in a grove of other giants,

branches held high, tangled with your sisters and brothers,

all the same.

The wind hits you,

hard in your upper branches, so you bend and sway,

softer, tickling, down below,

where the squirrels nest and the birds make their homes.

You can feel the water within coursing, coursing,

through your heart,

up the length of your trunk and through your branches,

down through your large and steady base, to the roots.

Your own kind of heart beat,

slower and lower

than the other living things around you.

You can feel your great roots and their thick, ropey coiling into the soil,

like enormous tentacles,

twisting, and plunging,

through the cool damp earth.

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

They descend past the leaf litter rich and fragrant,

and past the mycelium network, intricate white threads running through the forest floor.

They push through pebbles and sticks, beetles with shiny backs, earthworms, red and smooth.

They slide past soil microbes and ants, eyeless moles.

The coil and snake past ancestor bones, underground tunnels, water dark and sweet, mineral rich, stop for a drink,

and they burrow through bedrock, solid and smooth,

and seek out the warmth in the center of the earth,

a glowing ember,

pure creation,

planetary womb.

And you feel the red warmth travel through your roots,

and up and up,

and up,


past the bedrock, and dark pools of cold water,

and up,

around the ancestor bones,

tunnels, eyeless moles, earthworms, and ants,

pebbles and sticks,

and up through the leaf litter rich and damp.

And you feel the soft heat warming your trunk,

flowing skyward,

traveling up through your branches that touch the clouds,

and straight back down again, so you’re caught,

and held,

in the warm, and glowing light,


to the earth

through your own pulsing roots.

And you smile.

(this post was inspired by a powerful sense meditation taught to me by my dear friend and mentor Sarah Preston. Thank you Sarah, I love you.)

Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

Thank you to my wonderful friend Jerry tonight. He sent me this note the other day when I was feeling particularly lost and useless, feeling like this project was of no use to anyone, especially myself, and like I’d never be able to make any difference at all. And then I read this a bunch of times, and the more I read it the more it pulled me back together and I thought, well, thank you Jerry. There is power in connection. There are things at work much bigger than ourselves. You are a true friend to remind me.

From Jerry:

I dreamt I was waiting for a post from Natasha.

I waited and waited and waited.

Now I am waiting while sitting in my sit spot.

Now I am waiting while studying the morning sky for signs of revolutionary patterns in the air.

Now I am waiting while wondering what I would say if I knew how to talk to the weeping cherry in my backyard.

Now I ask the weeping cherry to tell me about that Thanksgiving Day a few years ago when a flock of cedar waxwings showed up to feast on her berries.

She shivers slightly.

Now I’ve forgotten all about waiting for Natasha.

Thank you. Sweet dreams. Good morning. Let’s dance!