Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A walk in ancient woodland



It is good to take a walk in ancient woodland, a place where light and vision are filtered by the presence of trees. Here is beauty aplenty. Here is the surge of life nurtured by the very Earth Herself. Here is a deep ancient presence. For all the beauty ancient woodland remains a wild place. The bears, wolves and boar may be long gone but wild energy remains as strong as ever.

Trees have a very special presence which is immediately apparent as you walk beneath their overarching branches. To pass under the shade of some trees is to find a place out of time where all seems different. It is as if the whole of reality is here mediated by the tree.

I love this picture I took recently of fallen trees like guardian spirits. The wild garlic turning their leaves in adoration and filling the air with the fragrance of their incense. Such scenes are an important reminder that there is much that we cannot and should not control. A reminder to ask permission to step into the presence of such ancient energy. A reminder to honour the spirits with prayer and offering.

Truth is we need to honour boundaries and accept that we are totally dependent upon the fecund power of our Earth. Our lives are bounded by womb and tomb imaged in our own homes by threshold and hearth. Humanity has overstepped so many boundaries, destroyed so much woodland from the cedar forests of Lebanon to the rain forests of South East Asia. We have become so addicted and dependent on the oil left by the forests of deep deep history that we would kill our grandmothers and deny our grandchildren life in order to obtain our next fix. But the ancient woodland has the power to bring us back to reality if only we look, listen, feel, face our fears and let the guardian spirits touch our imagination.

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