The Karri Tree

filed under: Nature

Burnt out and ejected from the business world I landed in the the tall timber country of the South West of Western Australia. There I purchased a badly treated and rundown dairy farm with the idea of building a house by hand and establishing organic gardens as part of my recovery. However the exhaustion was such I could not find the psychological or spiritual strength to put my plans into action. This was the 1980’s, I was in my early 30’s and it was way too early in my life to be feeling so ruined. It was with a wry irony and sadness I realised the farm and I mirrored each other.

Fortunately I felt called to a forest adjacent to the property and began walking within it regularly. The Karri trees were majestic in their presence, the forest supported a vast ecosystem with many animals to admire distracting me from my woes. Bird song punctuated the silence without disturbing the forest peacefulness and reminded me I was not alone. Often I would walk into the depth of the forest, sit still with my eyes closed and simply listen to the wonderful sounds of nature all around me. At these times I would forget my troubles and find myself ever so closer to peace.

The forest was only a few kilometers from the coast and one day I experienced something that seemed extraordinary. As I sat in silence I heard a faint rustling way off in the distance that gradually became closer, passing over the top of me and fading into the distance. Then more silence, which was followed by wave after wave of the most beautiful soundscape I had ever heard. Later I realised I happened to be in the forest at the right time for the arrival of the sea breeze. A high breeze that came in gentle gusts that ever so lightly moved the leaves in the canopy, yet left the forest floor undisturbed and still.  As the symphony of sound from the forest breeze enveloped me I understood this was the language of nature, and if I listened carefully enough it may have something to tell me. That it did.

The spirits of the wind and forest called me to share my story and to allow myself to be soothed and healed. There was no hesitation on my part and I allowed myself to be seen at depth so that my suffering from the past, and hopes for the future, were apparent. The beautiful sounds continued to come, pass over me and fade of into the distance only for another wave of forest music to follow. With each gentle passing of the forest song I felt calmer, as if my troubles and exhaustion were being carried away and scattered in distant lands by the wind. I was taught by the forest spirits that problems of others were not mine and I did not need to solve them, and those I considered mine could not be solved whilst I held them so close. My exhaustion, I was told, came from these mistaken beliefs that led to years of fruitless endeavor. The solution I was assured, lay in simply releasing to allow the flow of life energy and it would pass.

With gratitude I eventually opened my eyes and gave thanks to the forest and wind for their healing and wisdom. The forest spirits were not finished with me though. As I began to quietly walk back a forest elder beckoned me. This was a giant Karri tree that had a presence beyond other trees visible to me at that moment. I did not hear a voice. The calling was simply recognition of a feeling arising in me with acknowledgment of the forest elder. A feeling that had within it an unspoken invitation to connect and listen as the tree had a gift for me. I found myself sitting at the base of the trunk with my back against it. Once again I closed my eyes.

It was not long before I was settled into stillness once again and I asked the elder tree why it had called me? With this question came an understanding that it could teach me about strength if I was to energetically connect. This was not something I had to make happen. All I had to do was accept and allow. Immediately on acceptance, I felt a surge of strength and power such that it frightened me a little. It had been a very long time since I had felt anything like this and I was not prepared for it nor expecting it. Energetically I recoiled and felt guilty that I was taking energy from this beautiful tree believing I had no right to do so. Remembering this was initiated by an invitation from the elder tree I decided to put my discomfort aside and allow. The tree spirit taught me that by accepting the invitation I was not taking anything from it, and it could share its spiritual medicine with me. At that moment I understood the difference between receiving and taking.

By joining with the tree in this way I was allowing my energy and consciousness to be realigned so that I could tune into the same source of energy it was connected to: A universal energy that brought life force and strength to all living things. This gift of connection and understanding was the spiritual medicine of the forest elder. I visited this tree often and much learning and wisdom came at those times, including that all of nature and Mother Earth herself had vast spiritual medicine and wisdom for all of us. We just need to show up the right way.

With Peace and Love

John Thompson

**Footnote: In the comments is a powerful message from a reader describing an Australian Aboriginal perspective of separation and the impact on his people. It is very moving and I encourage you to read it. Feel free to add to your thoughts and comments as they will be a valuable contribution.

8 Comments

Megan Hannen.

Thankyou, for sharing your experience! I too have lived in the bush, (as a farmer) and I loved to walk in the neighbouring Bush Block! Thank you for sharing your experience and connection. Now I know I am not the only one! Cheers!

John Thompson

HI Megan, Thank you for leaving this comment. There are many of us and there seems to be a growing awareness of the need to reconnect with Mother Earth and Nature for our health, a better future and to learn how to live in right relationship. You may be aware there is a growing regenerative farming movement in Australia these days. This is about regenerating soil health and the landscape yet maintaining profitability. They are making great progress and demonstrating the knowledge we need is available. For them relationship with nature is paramount. Charles Massey from the Easter States wrote a great book called “Call of the Reid Warbler. If you have not read it yet well worth doing so as he has researched this movement in Australia and provides a comprehensive description of what is going on. It is so important we treat the land right and produce clean healthy food.

michele isnard

Hopefully Humanity realise we are the earth, the “forest elder”, the environment, ….then we`ll be moved to protect our loving mother earth same way as we would ourselves. Your work is truly inspiring thankyou

JOhn Scrutton

NOW IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT THAT THIS IS A SPIRITUAL MOMENT. LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND CONNECTEDNESS OF MOMENTS LIKE THIS CAN ONLY BE FOUND DEEP WITHIN. MANY WHO FIND IT ARE OVER-WHELMED. MANY WHO WALK THE SAME PATH ONLY SEE TREES AND FEEL CUT OFF FROM ALL THEY HAVE EVER KNOWN………. NOW STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR SELF AND IMAGINE YOU ARE AN ABORIGINAL WITH VERY LITTLE AND THIS IS YOUR GARDEN OF EDEN. EACH BREATH IS ONE WITH YOUR RELIGION, PAST, PRESENT AND KITCHEN. YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS HERE. THEN ALONG COMES THOSE OF A DIFFERENT RACE WHO BELIEVE IN A MATERIAL WORLD. YOU ARE DRAWN INTO IT AND CAUGHT UP IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT SPHERE OF BEING AND EXISTENCE. ONE WHERE YOU DO NOT LISTEN TO THE FORREST SONG. ONE WHERE YOU ARE HUNTED AND REJECTED AND STRANGE CUSTOMS AND DISEASES AND IDEAS ASSAIL YOUR VERY BEING. CAUGHT UP IN THE WHIRLPOOL OF NEITHER HERE NOW , OR THERE WHERE IT WAS BEFORE. GRADUALLY THE POISONING OF ONE LEADS TO THE FORGETTING OF THE OTHER. UNTIL A POINT IS REACHED WHEN YOU CAN NOT MOVE FOREWARD OR BACK AND ARE HOOKED ON THE NEW DRUGS OF BACCY, SUGAR, TEA, HAVING TO COVER AND CLOTHE YOUR BODY. ACCEPTANCE OF WHO YOU ARE IS NO LONGER. .. LOST…… LOST……. YOUR CHILDREN ARE BORN TO THIS LOSS…. ALCOHOL… LAND TAKEN… SLAVERY…. NO WHERE TO HIDE….. IT IS FOREVER GONE…… ONE IS A WHITE MAN IN THE NOW WORLD THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN, TOUCHED BY THE NATURAL SPIRIT SO LONG FORGOTTEN BY HIS TRIBE THAT IT BECOMES A NEW WORLD THING THAT MANY TAKE DRUGS TO FIND. MANY DO BUT AT A COST TOO DRAMATIC TO BACK AWAY FROM….. THEY ARE LOST…. LOST …… THE OTHER PERSON IS AN ABORIGINAL THAT CAN NOT LIVE IN THE WHITE WORLD AND IS CAUGHT UP IN THE DRUGS, ALCOHOL, SWEETNESS OF SUGAR AND FIZZY DRINKS, KFC, REJECTED, DEJECTED, KIDS BORN WITH ADDICTIONS, REJECTIONS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.. THEY KNOW NOTHING OF THIS SECRET WORLD OF THE FORREST. IT IS NEVER TOUCHED ANY MORE BY THE TRIBES.. THEY ARE ALL LOST…. LOST…

Leave a Reply