Friday, May 7, 2010

The Beech Grove

There is a park not too far from my home that holds a grove of 18 beech trees.  I had walked past it many time during the winter and had not noticed it in great detail.  Not until a few weeks back when visiting the park with a friend did I realize it was a beech grove.  We were drawn into it by the beautiful silvery bark and the bright green new leaves fringed with delicate hairs.  It took a  few moments before it came from somewhere in my memory that these were beech trees.  Upon looking on the ground it was confirmed by the scattering of last falls nuts.  We admired the trees for quite a while before being called away by the hoot of an owl that needed to be investigated.  But as I was leaving, I placed my hands upon one of the trunks and whispered my thanks and intentions to come back.

The friend I was with could appreciate the trees from a nature loving and naturalist point of view.  But she would not have understood the stirring I felt in me as I stood in the grove among those trees, a stirring that was connected to my own spiritual path and the knowledge that there was something very special and sacred for me to learn among these trees.

Nearly three weeks had passed and I finally made it back this evening.  This time with my husband, who had wanted me to show him the grove that I kept mentioning.  The grove of beech trees had never been too far from my mind and when we arrived at the park, I kept saying I wasn't exactly sure which direction we needed to go to get there but something in me must have known because instead of following a path I cut out across the park in a very particular direction and eventually came out right in front of the grove.  It was dusk and the silvery bark was glowing in the last light of the day.  The weaving of the branches and leaves against the darkening sky was beautiful.  I gently pulled a branch down to show my husband the fine fringe of hairs along the edges of the leaf.  We admired them together and I gently put the branch back in place.  It was perfectly still as I started to step under the branch when a leaf dropped right in front of me.  I kept the leaf safe in my hand while we walked among the grove, stopping and looking up through the branches, studying the different patterns in the bark - both natural and those carved by people, listening to the slight breeze in the leaves that had begun to stir among the branches.  I was gently touching one of the tree trunks when my hand passed over an area of the trunk, just off the trunk by an inch or so actually, that was warmer than the surrounding area.  It caught my attention immediately.  The warmth had an energy to it that I'm not sure how to describe.  I had my husband feel as well and he noticed it too - the warmth.  I paused there with wonder.  What was it?  

As we said our goodnight's to the grove I saw a dandelion seed head on the edge of the grove and I reached down and plucked it.  I said a wish for the groves continued health and growth and for it to be appreciated and with a laugh for it to have a lovely carpet of bright dandelions below it and then blew all the seeds back towards the grove.  It was spontaneous and wonderful.

I kept feeling that I need to go back to the grove again during the day and sit in it's midst and write.  I can't shake that feeling.  And tonight while researching lore about the beech I came across a couple references to the beech tree being connected to books and learning and wisdom - especially by writing.  How completely UN-coincidental.
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