Last month, I was witness to the murder of a dear friend I have known for just over a year and a half.
My friend lived in the backyard of the house behind my apartment building. Every morning we would commune in silence, listening to the birds and the sounds of the city awakening.
The morning hush this given day was met with the roar of a chain saw slicing into her/him, ropes tying her up and men taking her limbs apart, dissecting her into small pieces and loading her dismembered form into a dumpster.
I called 311, the city help line.
My friend was a large, healthy, vibrant and sacred cedar tree whose home, of what must have been well over a decade for the size of their girth, was the “backyard” of an old Toronto home. This home has been under construction for almost a year, having been totally gutted and taken down to two brick walls and a foundation.
The tree stood tall and graceful throughout this past Canadian winter, throughout the entire process of construction, debris and litter all around, not an inch withstanding of visible clean Earth surrounding their trunk.
When I approached the construction workers questioning why they were taking the life of this tree, they did not pause at their task of dismemberment. The workers directed me to the permit and developers name posted at the front of the construction site and would provide no further comment.
I ask you does this beautiful tree, not have the same privileges as you or I? Trees provide oxygen, shade, beauty, and countless other benefits to life on this planet we are blessed to call home. The cedar tree added grace to an otherwise grey concrete visage through my lens of existence. Squirrels scurried up their trunk and birds often sang from the branches. Some sentient citizens of Earth made this tree their home!
The death of cedar hit me hard, as did the death of my beloved horse a couple of years ago. Why? I asked myself why I feel this way about the natural world. I haven’t always felt this deeply, seemingly ripped apart at the heart.
The answer came on the wings of stillness. The trees, the natural world, animals, provide unconditional love. They are a presence that sees, hears and listens with no judgement. The natural world provides a place of solace, and are a mirror for my shattered psyche to reflect the inherent wholeness I am. The natural world is a part of me and I a part of the natural world. There is no difference through my lens.
The natural world enables me to feel again. To feel connected and safe in order to open my heart to experience and grieve the hurt, the locked up, frozen wasteland that has been held deep inside of me; to come home to my natural self, love. In essence, I have been frozen in time, frozen for decades from a traumatic event in my early childhood. I was in the world but I was not part of it and I had no inkling to the depth of my suffering.
Through the natural world I/we can return to stillness. We are provided from birth, a safe and natural connection to our Divine Mother, our natural self, the self who knows no boundaries or containment; one who is one with all.
This is it! We are a race of people that have had their hearts frozen and subsequently disconnected from life on Earth and how it was created to be; in harmony with all! The realization that harsh words and accusations directed at these workers will never ever reach their frozen, conditioned hearts to connect to my understanding. It is through the compassion of realizing their plight, as Jesus’ Christ voiced upon the cross through his suffering, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”.
Without projection of my thoughts and beliefs, why needlessly cut down a tree for money; for the visual effect of a perfect “home” environment? We cannot eat money. Money does not heal. Nature heals. Trees heal. Mother Earth is our healer, not pharmaceuticals, not an injection. Seek the beast that bit you for the cure.
The beast is ourselves. The human race.
The beast that has been fed the conditioning and lies since we arrived on this Earth in the form of a newborn child. When we heal ourselves of learned, conditioned beliefs and responses, we help heal the world by changing our conditioned response patterning. Truly we can only heal ourselves! Healing becomes a self love song that enraptures the entire Earth with the chorus of love and harmony and freedom for all!
We are this tree. We are everything we see. Why not cultivate beauty, for what we see, we become.
My efforts did not halt the death of this sentient being, but perhaps a message of love reached the hearts of the workers to see the change, to be the change we wish to see in the world. Perhaps a heartfelt message infiltrates the heart of you.
** In follow up, the city of Toronto closed the case with the following email response: “Cedar tree removed within the backyard undersized and not protected by the City tree bylaw.” **
I pose this question to the city; how may a tree grow to full size when not protected by it’s regulatory environment?
Together, may we grow to our full potential, open hearted and connected, one with all 🍀
Artwork entitled “Tree Vision” by the writer 🌟