Friday, April 3, 2015

The Consciousness of Trees

Stamp Falls

Raven is calling a meeting in the forest.
All the trees and creatures open their ears.
"We need to address the sadness of the trees," 
Raven begins.
The deer and bear and cougar nod their heads,
for they know.

"There is a huge disconnect between 
the consciousness of trees
and the unconsciousness of humans," 
she continues.
We of the forest understand 
how to live together, in diversity.
We exchange resources, so that all may live.
How can we teach the humans 
that their way is not The Way?"

Bear speaks. All tilt their heads to hear.
"There is a sadness in the trees along the clearcuts,
where their sisters have been pulled,
without respect, without the trees' consent,
wantonly, with no regard
for the survival of the forest.
It's like the wisdom teeth of the planet
are being pulled, without care or anaesthetic,
as if they have no feelings,
as if they are not living beings.
Trees suffer more, 
when they are abused this way.
Why do the humans not hear their cries of pain?"

Owl opens her eyes to speak.
All quiet, respectfully.
"There is a deep wound in Mother Earth,
that can only be healed
if the Two-Leggeds awaken 
from their disconnection
with the land,
and learn to live with respect and love 
for all other living beings."

All of the creatures nod, then sigh.
In their eyes is the belief
that humans are too limited 
to make such a prodigious leap. 
Sadly, they return to 
their woodland homes and caves,
to ponder the problem
of the sadness of the trees.

In this time of accelerated passage,
the trees of the planet,
along with all its creatures, 
are waking up
to a living nightmare.
They are asking us to hear their cries,
to understand their pain,
and, belatedly, to awaken, too. 

I watched a fascinating video the other day, whose title, The Consciousness of Trees, sparked my Muse. Suzanne Simard, Ph.D, has studied how trees communicate, network and help each other survive through their underground root system, that links old Mother Trees, not just to trees nearby, but all across the forest.

She says their root systems exchange carbon and nitrogen, even with trees of a different species. She says the forest ecosystem works like the neurons in our brains work, not just physically but metaphysically, and the diversity is what gives the forest its resilience to withstand events. Dying trees move their resources to younger living trees, so the forest can survive. Clearcutting and modern-day logging methods obviously pays no attention to any of this. 

I have used the term "the wisdom teeth of the planet" before, in a poem written in 2010. When I see the big old roots sticking up, the image of wisdom teeth, the pain and the bleeding, their resistance to being uprooted, are what come to mind.

source: youtube: The Consciousness of Trees

Day 3 NaPoWriMo


  1. Sherry this is an amazing piece! And I think you captured the feelings of the trees perfectly. Do you think humans were born without hearts? I sometime wonder?

  2. I was reading the other day, how plants too have a similar communication system as the one you describe with trees. None of this surprises me. Just makes me sadder at the arrogance of humans, thinking we're superior. I love what you've written here. The idea of wisdom teeth is superb.

  3. Sherry, I so love this. You know how connected I feel to trees. I will share your words elsewhere, for they are inspiring to the planet.

  4. The Creator made an awesome working plan for all of us but many are so blind.

  5. As a sister to trees, I thank you profusely and absolutely love "The wisdom teeth of the earth." And btw, I thought I was the one making myths this month, lol. You've got me beat by a mile.


  6. I really think you need to send a copy of this to the woman in the video, she inspired you,


  7. Hi Sherry, you reminded me of the plight of our Cypress tree who recently had her roots trimmed. She had grown 'root knees' and some of them had disrupted our grass lawn sprinkler system. A fellow came in with a stump grinder and ground them all down to about six inches below the ground level. Like a human's dental work, it was for her own good. She needed the water also.
    Most of the other trees and shrubs sympathized with her and thanked her as well.

  8. Very meaningful write Sherry ~ How fascinating to learn about the network of the trees ~ Hopefully we will awaken one day ~ I will check on the link and read about it ~

  9. Intriguing... we learn so much from Nature... a very beautiful poem Sherry :)

  10. Sherry, I needed this one. Thanks for the reminder. When I was in New Orleans, I saw a few old-growth live oaks in front yards. They seemed to be leaning toward the houses with branches outstretched, ready to scoop up the house, fling it next door, and reclaim the yard! Love, Amy

  11. I am a lover of trees and feel a special affinity for them. So this piece spoke to my heart Sherry!

  12. on a separate (but related note) Bill Gates made the comment in a TED talk that if 10 million people die at once, it'll be a microbe, not a bomb, that does it. as we two-legs keep digging in the chemical / biological box and ignore millions of years of evolutionary 'success' growing out our front doors... well, the outcome seems somewhat predictable. ~

  13. Such a cool poem--almost like a chapter from a young adult novel (I mean this in the best of senses--I think books for young people often have the most meaning!) Thanks, Sherry. k.

  14. We really need to learn to listen to the message that the trees are TRYING to give us. Your poem is a powerful reminder.

  15. I found out about this concept when I was studying horticulture, Sherry, and it was mindblowing,. You have nailed it with your poem, and it would be so wonderful if only humans could all be connected as deeply, with each other, and with the beings on this earth.


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