November 2019 and it is six months on from when I started ink painting with a newfound passion...
For several weeks daylight has faded at a ridiculously early time of about 3pm, most days littered by wind, rain and heavy cloud. Yesterday our lane flooded badly. Right now a stranded vehicle sits in it waiting recovery, or for the flood to recede. I know which I put my money on happening sooner.
Ahead of winter, the fields are sodden. Wellies needing a wash on every return. Autumn seems to have been missed out – its glory certainly couldn’t be fully appreciated in recent weeks. High wind zapped the trees of colour in days and we never truly saw them sing out. They faded fast and without ceremony, unable to shine against a dull grey background.
Today, because of the flood (and because it’s long overdue), I ventured out to make an offering to the beech tree I visit in local fields, the one I term ‘my tree’. I think in 'tree years' it’s most likely a teenager. From beneath it looks like a tree piggy-backing another, and its left arm and hand reach toward our house, pointing, or beckoning for me to come outside. It faces north-west.
I left a few grapes as an offering. Alternate times I leave burnt sage, a few nuts or a handful of ashes after a moon burning. I never leave anything that is manmade, poisonous, that will seed or won’t rot.
This afternoon I stood under Beech for scant seconds, looked up and noticed most of the leaves have dropped since last weekend, though it still has a few dotted in seemingly equal distance across the branches, in a scattered pattern.
There is always a message I get as I stand in silence under Beech. Today it was simple...
It was about letting go; nature’s death; of Autumn. I noticed those remaining bronze discs clinging to the branches and saw that even trees find it hard to let go and release those last leaves, the same as we do our final blocks, habits and outdated beliefs. Trees hang on to the last of their ‘skin’ for as long as possible. It has been protecting them from the elements for months, after all. As the weather turns colder, it must be hard to face losing your ‘cloak’ and have no choice in pulling in energy.
RESISTANCE IS NATURAL
Although I sense Tree Spirit resists as much as we do, my own beech seems not quite as resistant as the bigger and older one beside it, which towers above and still displays an armour of dazzling bronze leaves on a bleak November afternoon.
It would appear my young Beech is nimble-minded enough to be less resistant to what might lie ahead. Or perhaps, like a human child or teenager, he is tired from the over-exertion of Spring and Summer, and ready for bed and to sleep, ahead of the surrounding adults.
I reckon by the weekend he will have released his grip and have fallen fast asleep, those last curled up and browning leaves will have dropped. He will be already dreaming of Spring and reserving all his energy for the new beginning. He will be looking forward, not back, and have no qualms about doing what feels natural. Beech knows that autumn isn’t the end, it is a chance for rebirth, and a natural part of the flow of things.