Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trees Throughout My Life

I suddenly realized that huge maple and oak trees have been an intrinsic part of my parents lives and my own for as long as I can remember and every place I have lived.  It's a huge connection for me.....a theme, so to speak.  It was like an epiphany for me to realize all the "love" and "home" connections I have with trees.

My mother grew up in a W.Va. town that had tree lined streets and brick sidewalks. My earliest memories include counting bricks and stepping over cracks, as my aunt and I walked around town.  There were wonderful big trees all along the street as we passed by.

My dad grew up in an old stone mansion in a wooded area on a hill at the edge of the same town. He would often recite Joyce Kilmer's poem: "Trees" to me.  When it was made into a song, my mother and I would sing it.

The town I grew up in from the age of 5 until I left for college was a typical small town of the 40' and 50's.  Once again, there were oak and maple trees all along the sidewalks.  Many of our family photos were taken by the maple that grew just beyond our front porch.

After my dad passed away; my mother moved to Charleston, W.Va. She bought a beautiful little house there and I vividly remember taking pictures of the maple trees along her street when they turned gold and red in the fall.

It's probably not surprising that my husband and I had our very own maple tree in our back yard for 41 years. We lost our tree in April of 2010.  With it, we lost a sense of privacy, and shelter from storms, and shade that kept out the glaring afternoon sun and magnificent beauty that changed with every new season.

I especially loved seeing the first buds on its branches in early spring and watching it evolve into full blown summer beauty.  That transition felt like hope to me.

It's no wonder, then, that I have grieved for her.  I can still feel her spirit just beyond our deck.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have a favorite memory of a tree from the time when I was 3 or 4 years old. There was a wonderful woman who worked for my family who was especially good to me.  She would sing and laugh and play with me while she worked.  Then we would walk to the company store where she would buy us each a chocolate lollipop and we would sit under a huge tree by the side of the road to savor this special treat.  To me, this was pure joy and I always associate that feeling with the big old tree.

There was another large tree near our home where a childhood friend and I spent hours playing in the summer sun.  I became so familiar with its shape and its great roots that I used it as a passageway to go into the earth on my first shamanic journey and many journeys since then.

A maple tree behind our house grew up along with our children.  They played under its branches and among its roots for many years.  It held the echoes of their shouts and laughter.  Over the years some people tried to convince me that we should cut the tree down but I always fought for it to stay.  It finally came down in a storm in April 2010. The great giant took out everything in its path; causing us to need major reconstruction on our home.  No one was injured and all was replaced.  Strangely enough, I still grieve for the loss of my beloved tree.  I had even had a mystical experience with the tree during meditation a few years earlier.  Our energy fields seemed to merge, making green and yellow bubbles of light that floated around for awhile. I suppose we were especially close after that.

I really resonate with the strong, resilient spirit of trees and the flow of life and life cycles they represent. I took a nature walk in the Laurel Mountains with some close friends in May two years ago. We hugged trees and saw their energy fields.I felt the heartbeat of one tree as I lovingly placed my hands over a damaged place on its bark. My impressions of their energy are full of color and imagination.  They also seem to me to have movement and sound.

If you stand close enough to a great tree and listen intently, you might be able to hear the heartbeat of one of these mystical magical creatures.

May you always have magic in your life,

Monday, January 17, 2011


"Angel of God, my guardian dear; To whom God's love commits me here; Ever this day, be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule, to guide."  My earliest memories include this prayer, a "must" before bedtime every night.  My idea of an Angel was a statue and I thought if there was anyone looking at me from Heaven, it would be with a critical eye toward keeping me on the right path!

It wasn't until what seemed like a couple of lifetimes later that I discovered the real power of these magnificent beings! In the late 1980's I read about them, took classes and workshops about them, meditated on them, and connected with people who had seen and heard them.

Once, in 1995, they appeared above me in a circle of pink and gold; filling the room with their energy and floating me through the end of a long and painful root canal.

In 1996, during an auto accident, I felt like my car was lifted up and deposited down just a few feet or so before it would have hit the wall of a brick building.

In 1998, during a particularly traumatic and painful hip replacement; I woke up in my room with the words:"Angels abound" resounding over and over in my head.  The angels were with me through every day of that long and difficult recovery.  I wrote many poems about them and felt their support and fell in love with their energy. They are all about light, power, strength, and love.  They have come with lightning speed with their powerful protection and amazing assistance to carry me through many scary and difficult times ever since.In recent years, their love and support have really helped me when waiting for a loved one's return from a serious surgery.

In terms of  everyday happenings, they surround my car when I drive and have helped me find lost items that showed up in the most amazing places.

I have a strong connection to the Angel energy so it is no wonder they became an important part of my artistic expression. In the beginning, angel forms were apt to show up in my paintings as I worked in a meditative state with watercolors.  Many times angels would seem to present themselves as needed for a particular person or cause.  For example, a person might be looking for clarity, comfort, or healing.  People who have owned prints of my work tell me they have provided comfort, support, joy and a sense of peace to them.