The man who heard the trees speak

I’ve lived through many moons.  I’ve listened to the natural world and know a little of how it speaks to us.  So when I met a man who spent a lot of time in the deep woods, I listened to his story.  And I believed.

This was many years ago and being that I’m older I forget the names of people and places.  But their stories live in my memory and I recall talking to this man as we sat in a waiting area.  This was before people were lost in their cell phones and we spoke to one another and heard each other through the stories we would share.

It seems this young man was hired by forest services for his unique ability to hear the trees speak.  The forest services would go into the forests and decide which trees would be cut down.  They would run into problems with some of the deforestation because trees would fall across the roads built to get into the forest.  Sometimes the trees would fall on the heavy equipment used to cut the trees down.  Sometimes men would get hurt by falling trees and, not often but even once is too often, men would die by falling trees.

Accidents seemed to come too often for various reasons, enough to make the forest services question why.

This man told me he felt the need to let the forest services know that the trees were unhappy with being cut down.  He spent many years in the forest and knew when certain trees were unhappy and why.

At first those within the business of cutting trees listened and laughed.  The very idea of trees being unhappy was never considered, but enough accidents were happening that they were willing to listen and they thought, “why not? If this guy thinks he can help save us from accidents happening – well, let’s see what comes of it.”

So they sent him into the forest to determine where they could cut trees and clear areas safely.

He would spend days listening to the trees speak and negotiating with them to understand which trees would allow the clearing.  When all was determined he would mark the trees that had consented and he would go back and tell the forest services.

The incidences of accidents decreased dramatically.  Loss of life was non-existent and somehow there was a difference in how the men doing the work felt about where they were working.

Whatever had changed, it was a dramatic change, certainly noticed by the forest services who hired this man time and time again to help them determine where the next cut and clear should be.

The man was happy in his work and felt his gift saved large areas of the trees that weren’t ready to be turned into lumber.

I’ll never know what happened to him and his gift of speaking and listening to the trees, but his experience enriched my life and I was so happy he shared his story with me.

If you want to speak to nature it’s important to know how to listen.  Even the rocks speak.  Pick one up and hold it in your hands and trust the images you get.  Those images tell a story.  The rocks are the record keepers and what goes on around them is recorded and never lost.  To know what they’ve recorded, simply ask the rock to tell it’s story and then listen.  You will see the images of what is shared.

Trees are the same.  They’ll speak if you know how to listen.

If you want to know if I’m a tree hugger – the answer will always be yes.  Sit at the foot of a tree with your back up against it and let it speak to you.  You can feel the roots, the leaves, the life within the tree.  Who knows what stories they may share?

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