Thursday, December 22, 2011

Falling in Love With a Tree

To begin with: just what does it mean to fall in love? 
 From my point of view it is kind of like this:
Something turns over in your heart
and 'very suddenly' you know 
that you are a little bit healthier
than you were five minutes ago.
You also know that whatever 
you have fallen in love with 
is not yours to keep in an ownership way.
It has been loaned to you briefly.
It is a gift for others as well.
How you respond to it is totally up to you!
Some will pass by without seeing it.
Some will photograph it without really seeing it.
Some will open to its blessing.
Some will carry it in their heart's memory.
Some will experience a sweet healing.
Others will have wonder restored in their lives.
Some will feast on the vision with gratitude.

On my visit to New  Zealand and Australia
I absolutely fell in love with the trees.
The tree pictured below is on Red Beach in Auckland.
It is a Pohutukawa tree and I actually can pronounce it.
At Christmas time it has bright red blossoms 
so it becomes their Christmas Tree.
I was there in the season of spring and the blossoms had not yet arrived.
The tree below is one of my photographs
but the one directly below it is from Google images.
I am trying to imagine my tree now all bright 
with its red blossoms. 

When I visited Auckland we drove into
Cornwall Park and along Pohutukawa Drive
I was offered a glimpse of so many ancestral trees
that it took my breath away~~ of course these were
very short love affairs but they are now
 loving medicinal memories.

The tree below is an Algerian Oak.
It is a semi-evergreen and loses its foliage
 for short periods during winter.
I stood, in silence, simply mesmerized by its branches.

Below you will behold my beloved Jacaranda
 with its lush purple blossoms.
Sydney and its surrounding area is where I first
laid eyes on this tree.  It is not native to Australia
and I can probably find some in California 
but this was my first sighting of a Jacaranda
and I could hardly stop staring at them.  
It was here in Sydney that I first made my proclamation:

And now I offer you the gift of this beautiful coral blossom
from a Coral tree that I met 
at Jamberoo Abbey in New South Wales.

The tree below is another tree I fell in love with.
It, too, lives in Jamberoo at the Abbey.
I was there a week with the cloistered Benedictines
and spent many moments just beholding it
and saying, "Oh, my goodness!"
It is a fig tree but not the kind that bears fruit.
It bears beauty.  It sings in silence.
It was truly my goodness--tree!

There is one more little miracle to be shared.  This is a baby Jacaranda.  One of the Sisters at Jamberoo gifted me with it.  I told her I thought it doubtful I could get it through customs. Nevertheless,  I did set out on my journey to Melbourne with the little tree in tow.  In Melbourne we discerned that since it would, most likely, not make it back to the states safely, it should remain with the one who was ultimately responsible for planting the dream-seed of my trip to Australia.  It now lives with Jen and John in Victoria, near Melbourne.  It has been named, Jacqueline.  And believe it or not, Jacqueline, the Jacaranda, now writes letters to me reporting on her spiritual and physical growth.

Do you have a tree that you love?
Spend time with it soon!


  1. I, too, love trees. What a great post. I think of my father and how he always wants his picture taken with trees.

  2. I have always had a heart for trees! I loved your post and the wonderful pics of the beautiful trees from your trip. What a gift--thanks for sharing them and your reflection.

  3. What a beautiful collection of trees, Macrina!
    Yes, I love trees as well. I also love to hug them, or rubbing one of their leaves, or staying under them and staring at them... It feels then as if the tree and I can communicate :-)
    You have one of my very favorite trees here: the flamboyan... It's the most sensationally enthusiastic tree I can think of.
    Thank you for this.

  4. Trees and leaves are some of my favorite images for prayer, art, etc. I fell in love with the trees of Australia and New Zealand on my first visit there. I have a whole section of my scrapbook from that trip dedicated to the trees I loved. Cackie

  5. I live in a rural hamlet where all the streets end in trees. On my walks, my favourite is the aspen in all seasons -- leaves like gold coins in the fall; stark spindly trunks in winter; fluttery with baby green in the spring; rustling with full-on green in the summer. At home, it is the ornamental cherry under which I sit on my Quiet Bench, knitting, stitching or reading. I look up and contemplate the blossoms, or the berries, or the season.

  6. What a gorgeous collection of heart trees. So beautiful. And I'm enchanted with the idea that there are trees alive today that have seen events that are only distant tribal memories to us puny humans.

  7. Thanks, Macrina, lovely reflection and sharing. I frequently visit a magnolia tree in the front of our Monastery and I call it my Gospel tree. I wrote a blog about it- My Gospel Tree.
    Hope you had and continue to have a blessed Christmas.

  8. I love these sculptural trees! I thinnk I prefer the first one without the red blossoms!

  9. I can see why you fell in love with these beautiful trees!

  10. I can not take my eyes off the bottom of the trunk and the roots of the Algerian Oak. Just returned from a trip to Captiva Island in south Florida and I found myself more fascinated by the bottoms of trees than the tops. No doubt Macrina could find symbolic meaning in which part of the tree we are attracted to! Velma

  11. Oh, I am so happy to see these! ;D

  12. Thank you everyone for visiting my blog. How often I have said, I just don't think I'm a true blogger--meaning I can't seem to get here once a week. I have begun to look at blogging as my writing practice. These little penguins have caused something wild and beautiful to stir in my soul, so I'll see you later.

  13. Wonderful post. And jacarandas are one of my favorite trees.