Listening to Trees

by James Clair Lewis

Monday night I parked my car on the hill above the Comedy Store, (the only free parking around there), and walked down the hill. I stopped for a few minutes, as I always do, to commune with a favorite Jacaranda tree.

Trees usually don't attempt to communicate with me using the mental impressions of our words, but that night it did. The tree said, "Move over into the driveway now!" I wondered what was up, but also stepped over into the driveway on the narrow street on the steep hill. Ten seconds later two cars zoomed by with only inches between them & the curb.

Anyone else would have been dead on the spot.

I made friends with this tree a couple of years ago, when one of its major trunks broke off. I always stopped there to comfort it, as best I could. See what unconditional Love can bring? This Jaracanda is up the hill on Queen's Road, which is very steep, and dangerous when fools are driving on it. Further up along the way there's a connecting street between King's Rd, & Queen's Rd. That's about the only free parking around there. BTW, I perform every Monday night with the Ding Dong Show, in the Belly Room of the Comedy Store... 10pm

I just realized that I've been talking with trees for a good 30 years now. In 1975 I was in New Hampster, hanging out in the woods. I sat down leaning against an Oak, just to meditate. After awhile I began to feel this Life in the tree, and then I started getting mental images from it.

First the tree directed my attention to a hole in the ground, and a few moments later, a groundhog emerged from it. Then the tree directed my attention to a bird's nest it was carrying. It was very pleased that a new generation of singers was hatching, and growing up.

By that time I was very much in tune with the tree's thoughts. So much so, that a skunk walked by & didn't notice me there at all. I hadn't brought any water with me, and since I was getting thirsty, the tree planted an image of a bit of water flowing out of the hill just about 200 yards off to my right. I walked over there, and found this spot, exactly as the tree had imaged it to me, and dranks some. It was very, very good.

A few weeks ago, I am certain that somebody was near this place in the Muir Woods, was talking on their cellphone to get the latest scores on their favorite sports team. The parent tree would have died thousands of years ago, but from it sprang a circle of new redwoods. These were quite old when I encountered them... perhaps several thousand years old themselves. The ancientness pervades that place, a perspective on Time few generally regard. They grow there observing the passing of days, seasons, years. Millennia come & go, and they know all the doings of the creatures of the forest. They know every visible stars in the sky, marking the flare-ups of supernovas, and even the positions of far off galaxies...

Sometimes I get out the clippers & remove dead branches from my trees. They love the hair cuts They regard it as solon treatments. Of course, then I have a prob with all of the trees in my neighborhood requesting that they get treatments, too... The trick I use in trimming trees & bushes works like this. First I take the time to observe what's going on, and listen for any input. When you cut something off, realize that it's just a failed experiment, and the tree doesn't want to pursue it. Without ambulatory creatures like us to tend these matters, the trees get stuck with their failed experiments, and that can lead to other problems. When you've determined that something needs to be cut off, you should make the cut in a way that will make it look like it never happened. Nice & smooth, blending in with the whole pattern the tree is doing with its growth.

The trick to this sort of communication, is just to try it. The trees are there. They want to talk. It just takes some practice to establish the link. Trees are individuals, but they are also a collective. The Jacaranda on that hill, knows about the Jacaranda in my front yard. They pass information to each other. There might be a root network involved, even though they are 17 miles away from each other.

The network that connects the Jacarandas, seems to have an overlap with the other tree species. I'll give you an example. A few weeks ago I was visiting a friend in Long Beach. It was a very hot day, and we were doing errands with her friend. When we were done, we all had had a bit of heat prostration. I took a nap on her couch, but her friend rode his bike home. He didn't call us when he got home, which he had promised to do. She got worried.

So I went out to her back porch & asked the row of cedars about her friend. They said that he had ridden his bike home & went inside. They didn't know what he did once he got in there. What I didn't know about her friend, was that he is very good with plants. Most people aren't very much noticed by plants, because they never speak with them or really have much to do with their lives. BUT, this guy is very much on the tree's radar, so to speak. They know he travels a lot on his bike, and keep track of his comings & goings.

So when I asked about him, they already had a clear image of him, and knew what he had done. An hour or so later, he called after taking a long nap, but it was nice to know sooner that he had gotten home OK, since the trees there consider him a friend.

Perhaps it is my Egalitarian & Progressive political attitude, but I regard us all as essentially equal beings. I have ongoing communications with Intelligences that Pagans, & Shamans, etc would refer to as Goddesses & Gods, but I treat them like powerful friends. They seem to appreciate my attitude, and perhaps that is why they speak to me, and tell me things. I can communicate in this way with any living thing. Usually that's trees, or plants in my garden, but I also have several friends who are cactuses. Occassionally, I'll go mountain climbing. By listening to what a mountain has to say, I discover beautiful, out of the way things, plus easier routes to get around. There is great Wisdom in trees, but they have a rather mundane side, too. Sometimes, all they want to talk about is the weather. The Key to all of this, is to Pay Attention. Unfortunately, many people will pay anything, except attention. Just don't be hasty... (somehow I think Tolkien understood that).

And like I said in the the beginning, trees seldom think in ways that translate directly vibration-wise as the sort of words we use. Primarily, plants emote their feelings. Secondarily, they use images. Most importantly, (and only after you've developed the habit of listening to them), they can transmit the experience of their consciousness. Plants were here for a few billions years before there were any truly ambulatory lifeforms, and plants created the conditions that allow ambulatory lifeforms to exist. We exist, because they allow it, and it would do us good to recognize our true place in the scheme of things.

Plants are not ambulatory, but they can & do move. It's just not a big thing for them. Mostly, plants simply grow and observe. They have lots of time to think. They have been doing this for billions of years on this planet, and they know a great deal more than most people would suspect. Since plants sustain and nourish all of the other lifeforms here, they could be considered superior to us. I suspect that they regard us as their pets, and in exchange for admiring their beauty, and properly tending them, they are willing to give us some fruit & veggies...

Consider merely on the physical level, how the shapes of leaves are ideal as sonic detectors. A tree is a vast array, and it hears everything, both far and near. I've found that trees can communicate with each other over great distances, and sometimes, when I listen carefully in an empathic way, they tell me things. The trees know all of the stars in the sky, have witnessed the deaths and births of stars, and know the placements of all of the galaxies in the Universe. It is truly awesome... The mechanism for all this lies in the fact that like all living things, trees have auras. The xylem and phloem which extend from their roots, through their skin, and up through their leaves, possesses electrical conductivity, and functions as a nervous system.

Not many things will impress a tree, more than sharing your water... (girls are said to prefer diamonds ;) ) It's something that very much will get their attention, and make them want to reach out to you. At mountain tops, I've given water to whoever happened to be growing there, and every time, have felt a rush of energy well up from the mountain, and the plant that got water, that was as refreshing as drinking the water, myself.

Establishing this kind of report, is simply something that takes practice. You have to adjust the vibrations of your mind to match those of the living thing you wish to communicate with. When similarity of vibration is achieved, information can be passed back and forth both ways.

Life speaks to Life, and sings itself through all of its Forms. Life sings in Light, Wind, Water, and arises from the Earth. Life is Pure, and Virtuous. Life is Joyous, and Transcendent. Life is all there is, and this is what you are! Sing your Life in the Grand Chorus of the Universe!

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