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All Spruced Up

Lately I've been sitting in a grove of old Sitka Spruce trees closer to home than the ancient redwood forests. Perched on a cliff above a rocky shoreline, this grove is a place of scintillating energy. Crows fly by, cawing loudly, surf beats the shore, wind lashes branches so they thrash and creak, and sea lions bark-sing. There's so much going on that I find it really hard to settle down and sink into the deep peace, quiet, and calm I experience in the stillness of redwoods. Every type of tree and forest invites us into a different state of consciousness.

Here, the refreshing, uplifting, almost effervescent quality of the trees literally spruces me up. But it's a difficult place for me to meditate. My mind is full of thoughts, ideas, inspirations, fears, and griefs. It makes an odd sort of sense to me that now I'm meditating in this place where I just can't get quiet. So many of us are more challenged in these times of pandemic to find our inner peace and well-being. There's so much uncertainty. We are learning to be in the unknowing.

When I finally breathe the chattering thoughts into some settling, I feel the peace and protection of the tree at my back and begin to open.

Relaxing and letting go feels so important now. When we relax, we can feel the way we are held. We are held by the Earth, beauty, life, gravity, trees and each other. Even now, in the unknowing, as we allow ourselves to be held, composting our grief and fear, we can create fertile soil to plant the seeds of new dreams.

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