I had a dream last night. It was a very simple dream, but the effect on me this morning is anything but simple. There’s something here, something very significant.
I dreamed I was visiting someone at a small log cabin in the woods. Outside, talking to the person, I noticed off in front of me an enormous ancient tree. Its diameter was like that of a small room, maybe eight or ten feet across, and its canopy soared so high above us—150 feet? I couldn’t really say. The trunk was quite straight with a few, but not many, limbs down lower and gnarly roots around the base. I was immediately drawn to it, climbing up the roots in order to hug the ancient tree. I was in total awe.
Upon awakening, with this dream vivid in my mind, I was bathed in deep, deep sadness. I still am. I had the sudden realization that I’ve been dreaming about this forest of ancient giants since I was wee small. This is the first time I’ve ever remembered one of them. Often I have a sense that I go places in my dreams that I can’t recall, familiar places. This is obviously one of them.
The one thing I feel strongly is that this forest existed, and probably many others like it, at some point on this earth. These were not redwoods. It felt like a deciduous forest that would be somewhere in the northeastern U.S., or ancient Europe. The recollection of this forest feels like a past life memory, like I’ve actually walked beneath these giants before, but maybe they’re only inner symbols of my psyche, who knows?
I wish there was language to express the feeling-sense of my experience in this forest. I think it ties in with my recent line of thinking--when we destroy the earth, we destroy a way of knowing ourselves. These trees are containers of ancient wisdom; they are ancient beings, not only silent witnesses. They hold knowledge, deep, deep knowledge. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live among them. Who would I become?
It is hard for me to jump back and forth from my memory of the forest and the reality of the world today, where wood is a commodity and entire forests are clear cut.
I wonder what happened to the forest in my dream? It’s unimaginable to me that any human could stand in the presence of those giants and not be overpowered by the sense of the sacred. Yet, similar forests have been cut to the ground. How is that possible?
What would that do to a tribe if people who lived in such a forest? How could they go on, how could they bear it? How would they ever make sense of such an enormous act of desecration?
I wonder if I finally remembered this dream because just in the past week, in an effort to start writing again, I attempted to describe my experience with Mrs. Kaufman’s huge maple tree? I’ve always felt like I truly connected with that tree spirit and the senselessness of her death was just devastating to me. Trees are beings of great dignity. We need to honor them. They are so vastly more evolved than we are and we have much to learn from them.
The old ones though are mostly gone from this planet. Not for many, many generations will we have the opportunity to learn from these wise giants, and only if we return to balance first and learn to caretake for all of the beings here.