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THE TREE I by Catherine Ghosh

Trees have been a wonderful source of calm and comfort in my life…

Every time I’ve felt like my whole existence is being shaken and torn up by its roots, I’ve intuitively turned to the grounding company of trees. For, ever since I was a child, I’ve noticed that surrounding myself with trees has always had a very soothing effect on me.

When I was thirteen and fourteen, I especially spent a lot of time in the eucalyptus grove across the street from our new home. It was my way of coping with the loss of all the friends I left behind when my family moved from Mexico City to California. I'd cope with my loneliness sitting under the tall trees, breathing in the scent of eucalyptus, and listening to the sound of the wind in their branches.

The eucalyptus trees became my confidants, as I told them my story in a series of poems. I filled a whole journal with tree poems that year. Today, I share one of these poems written by my 14 year-old self with you, as this was the period in my life that catalyzed my spiritual journey: a journey that grew mainly out of my pain. The eucalyptus trees helped me move thorough my pain, and feel embraced in their company.

The Tree I

Please tell me why you are crying, today?
Your tears are falling to the weeds
growing around your stem.
Your tears are the leaves
that are blowing away with the wind.
They are flying through the air
in all directions,
with nobody to fly to
or nowhere to go.
Each of these brown, sad leaves-
or should I say tears of yours-
are lonely
facing this windstorm on their own:
Helplessly blowing away,
until they become smaller and smaller,
and fade away
to a distant land of sorrow.
Why don’t you reach out your branches to me
and hold me in them
tightly
so I also won’t blow away in the wind?

September, 1984
'The Tree Hugger' by Angela Ferreira

Catherine Ghosh is an artist, writer and yogini. Passionate about inspiring women to share their spiritual insights and honor their valuable voices, she founded an online poetry project in 2012 called Journey of the Heart: Women's Spiritual Poetry Blog, through which emerged the books Journey of the Heart: An Anthologyof Spiritual Poetry by Women (Balboa Press, 2014) and Where Journeys Meet: The Voice of Women's Poetry (Golden Dragonfly Press, 2015). Catherine has been an active practitioner and student in the Bhakti Yoga tradition since 1986, and is co-founder of The Secret Yoga Institute with her life partner Graham M. Schweig, for which she develops materials for teacher training workshops. She has served as a contributing editor for Integral Yoga Magazine, and has been published in Mantra, Yoga + Health Magazine, Rebelle Society, Namarupa, The Tattooed Buddha, The Harmonist, Interfaith Observer, etc. Together with her writing partner Braja Sorensen, she's co-authored Yoga in the Gita: Krishna & Patanjali, The Bhakti Dimension, due out in 2016. Presently, Catherine is editing the first volume of poetry by contemporary women in the Bhakti Yoga tradition via her latest project "Vaishnavi Voices". A lover of nature, Catherine divides her time between her two homes in Northern Florida and Southern Virginia, painting, quilting, and writing poetry, among other artistic activities. You may connect with her on Facebook or visit her website:catherineghosh.com

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 

Comments

  1. Oh Catherine…this brought back so many memories. My confidantes were white pine trees. I'd sit surrounded by them, or clamber into their branches, and pour out my fears and tears. Such beauty and wisdom in this poem...

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    Replies
    1. Yes, somehow the comforting, trustworthy energy of trees really does pull our tears and fears from us! I also loved climbing them and surrounding myself, as you did. I think children must just know that we are safe with the trees. I am happy my poem revived your own memories of confiding in trees. Thank you so much for sharing, Tracie. xoxo

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  2. This is so gorgeous, Catherine. To me, trees are like the mother I never had. Nurturing, wise, all embracing. You captured this beautifully. Thank you xo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, dear Leslie. This is a poem from my 14 year-old self and yet, I find myself having the same kinds of dialogues with trees today, as I also know this embracing nurturing that trees so kindly offer. I had a feeling that you would too. ;) xoxo

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  3. One day walking on a beach still wild and ungroomed in Florida in a gentle rain, watching the little sand crabs scurrying around, workmen taking off their boots after a hard day cooling their feet in the sea, a tree glistening with rain drew me like a magnet. I put my arms around it, my face against the wet bark, and felt the life in the tree...and in me. It was small enough that I actually saw my heart beating in the branches....the leaves were quivering....and felt such a oneness with this tree...and the sea...the rain...and the earth beneath my bare feet. Love your sharing, Catherine. I was a tree climber too in my younger days. Make the rounds to commune with my apple tree, a pear tree that hums with bees, my willow tree that weeps with me. Thank you for the moments of your presence to Nature....feel a soul connection.

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