Tag Archives: Pine

Grounding Roots While Reaching For the Light

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Reaching for the Light by Laura Roe Stevens

Today I received two messages that I clearly needed—completely and utterly  perfect for me at this moment. The first came from a friend in Italy, another single mom who painstakingly takes care of her seriously ill young daughter’s every need. The quote from Khalil Gibran: ‘Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.’

Then, for some reason, I received a free copy of Deepak Chopra’s 21 Days of Inspiration—part of his bestseller The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

Today’s ‘inspiration’ about transformation is based around the metaphor of the beloved Sequoia tree. Again, how perfect for me, as I have been intrigued and mesmerized by these ancient trees and took a trip to see and hike among them. I even bought sequoia puzzles and blocks from my sons, as I am fascinated by the fact that these 3,000-year-old trees, older than Buddha, can only exist with the presence of fire. The heat of the forest fires release their seeds and clear away smaller trees that might block sun light from their roots.

My book, that I’m having difficulty focussing on at the moment, is quite literally centered around the mysticism from ancient trees. Not entirely, but it starts in this manner. I wish I could share a sneak peak within this blog, but a literary agent told me not to, so I’ll listen to her advice.

While the book is not based at all on my life or my childhood, I have always been affected by trees. As a child, I would escape the madness or chaos or fighting that might be occurring within my large household and run away to lay beneath 200-year-old pine trees. Our house bordered an old horse and tobacco farm and I would quite literally run past abandoned slave quarters and a tobacco-curing barn and then walk for ages on the then-empty horse trails, lined with soft pine needles. When I was finally exhausted, I would lay underneath a tree, my head resting on the moss that blanketed its knotted roots, and look up into the sky. The fingers of the trees would touch and move softly, letting in rays of sunlight, bits of blue sky. The shade helped me escape the usual oppressive heat of the South and if I laid still long enough, sometimes a deer would gently wander past. It was my heaven. Laying against the roots of trees that had witnessed likely atrocities from slavery, and perhaps moments of joyous horse-back riding, I wondered just what else had occurred or who else had shared this spot with me in the past. I didn’t know that I was meditating, but my eyes would close half-way, as I’d sleepily watch the limbs sway far above me. There were no other sounds except that of water trickling in the near by stream, leaves or pine needles rustling from deer, rabbits, squirrels or chipmunks. But most certainly, and steadily, like an ocean tide, I’d hear the soft, whispering wind from above. Although I was only a young girl, I think on some level, I recognized the metaphor in the moment that I sought over and over again when I needed to escape. And that is:

– Beauty Exists.

– Distance yourself from chaos, addiction, toxic relationships.

– Find stillness.

– Listen.

– Strengthen your core, your roots.

– Although rooted in who you are and what you want, strive to stay aware, mindful, accepting and grateful—especially for those lessons taught by those who have hurt you the most.

– And, most importantly: bravely, tentatively, reach for the sky, the light, and toward baby steps to manifest your dreams.

Happy New Year all ~

Laura xo

Sprouting Anew

I’ve always been obsessed with trees. They have a spiritual connection for me that I can’t really explain. As a little girl, I used to walk through the horse trails on the farm and then just sit beneath the pine trees, under their canopy, and listen to the wind, wait for deer to appear, and feel safe. I painted pine trees when I was older too, and love looking up into the sky beneath the canopy of leaves of any sort.  I even meditate often with the imagery of a tree in mind. I breathe in all the ego-driven fears I’m wrestling with such as feelings of anger, anxiety, jealousy, pity, etc. and imagine breathing them up from my roots of my being and having them lift up through my body and out of my head into the lightness. I exhale it there for the universe to take care of. When I breathe in, I inhale lightness, joy and peace and let it flow like lightning through my limbs, my core, and down to my toes to land into the earth where I’m planted—where I can utilize it again when necessary. I do this for five minutes, or try to! It’s hard to be still isn’t it? (I highly recommend trying this exercise for a week to see if it helps you with any anxiety.)

Well, when one of my sisters sent me this message last week, I had to save it. I love the imagery and adore our California Redwoods. It’s perfect for those of us going through a divorce who may be wrestling with sprouting anew. I hope this brings some inspiration your way! Thanks Sarah!

“Coastal redwoods are the planet’s most enduring lifework. A fallen coastal redwood will sprout anew within three weeks. Small trees can endure more than 400 years beneath a closed forest canopy without losing their ability to grow rapidly if and when that canopy is opened.

We can be like that, too. No matter how painful our life may have been, we always have the internal resources to heal and grow into happiness. We now have the strength, insight, and spiritual tools. This combination teaches us that there is no unhappiness too great to be made better. Opening ourselves up to the miracles of recovery, we step from the dark of negativity into the light of possibility and abundance. It doesn’t happen all at once, but it does happen – one day at a time.”