This is sort of a meditation, sort of a practice of mindfulness, one I do as often as I can whenever I am in the presence of a tree, specifically the oak tree in front of my house.
When you find a tree you wish to perform this little activity with, simply observe the tree. What kind is it? How wide is it? How tall is it? How old do you think it could be? What condition is it in? How many branches does it have? Is it bearing blossoms or fruits? Gather as much of this information as you can (feel free to journal and sketch or take notes).
Once you’ve gathered as much about the tree’s appearance as you can, sit in front of it and lean back against it or simply face away from it. Take in everything around the tree. What other plants are nearby? Animals? Where is the tree located? In a yard or in a park? How close/ far is it from a water source? How close is it to other trees? Again, gather as much information as you can.
Now, look around. What does the tree see? What events might have taken place at the locations around the tree? What memories does the tree itself have? What has the tree had to do to survive? (Did it have to grow into concrete? Around electrical wires? Around a house or fence?). Take in as much as you can.
What lessons can you learn from this tree? Grow despite adverse conditions? Change with the seasons? Bend but don’t break during storms? There is a near endless possibility of lessons to learn. This mindfulness can be applied to anything within nature, then shifted to apply it to ourselves. We are, after all, a part of nature.
To me, this is one of the biggest lessons druidry has taught me. Take wisdom, find knowledge, find ways to learn from everyone and everything around me. I performed this meditation with the old oak tree (named Acornelius) in my front yard, and I find I relate very much to that tree.
I hope you all find some lessons from this act of mindfulness! Feel free to share feedback about what you’ve learned.
The Basil Druid