Writing

Trees

In your garden two very different trees grow not far apart. Limbless, leafless, each forks at the top into two branches. Upon those four branches balances a beautiful golden bowl in which your divine and liquid fire glimmers and winks. Your sun-bowl radiates joy and peace, glowing from the top of your interwoven trees. Your brightly burning bowl-light can encourage the fire balanced on treetops in my garden and in other gardens, and can even lighten the fearful forest’s long shadows.

Slender and lithe, the first of the two trees in any garden is the heart tree, fragile even at its most healthy. A successful planting responds with gentle swaying to breezes and tremors, a smooth rocking which transmits, through the bowl, a circular motion to the liquid sun. Through the movement of the heart tree the bowl-light is stirred and increases. The movement must be gentle though, for if shaken too hard, the bowl can unbalance and precious sunwater be sloshed out and lost.

How easily a heart tree is moved from generative stirring to dangerous shaking is determined, in large part, by the health and proximity of its sister tree. The mind tree is a hardwood and altogether different from the pliable tree it grows beside. While heart trees benefit from the early tending of roots and from balmy atmospheric conditions, mind trees respond to rigorous hands-on care. With its visible growth rings and thicker bark, the mind tree can be trained to support its companion’s more reactive branches.

When cruel, careless or blind things stumble against the tender heart tree and unsettle the liquid sun, a strong mind tree can counterbalance the movement so that little liquid spills. A well-tended mind tree can absorb or redirect a surprising amount of force.

Every gardener is different; every delicate interplay of trees and bowl and fire and wind is unique. Garden location plays a role- some are gustier, some more calm, and some have gotten stronger starts. Some gardeners are naturals, others never learn that anything they do to any tree makes their own trees more or less healthy. When trees starve or sicken they sag, the bowlflame dulls and shrinks below the bowl rim, its light lost to the gardener and to his trees and to every gardener and every bowl of light. Shadows from the forest may even reach into the bowl, but I personally do not believe they can ever put a bowl-light out.

Do not let every gusty breeze rock your golden bowl. Your water is too precious, too god-like to allow it to be lost to any minor thing. Allow into your garden only what feeds your trees and reflects your bowl-light. Invite in gardeners who recognize your liquid fire for what it really is: your puddle of the holy, the god of you in you, your soul and your spirit; your inner peace.

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