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The Singing Forest-2

In British Columbia, Canada, the drive to harvest large dimension lumber is in full swing, as logging companies race to bring down  the last remaining  trees before politicians accept what environmentalists  have been telling them for years and bring the harvest to an end.

Standing in these forests is scary. You can hear the drone of mechanical saws  and you know you're standing among doomed giants. These magnificent trees  are silently performing crucial ecological tasks  for the whole living planet; they have lived through so much of human history and yet are helpless to stop  our saws cutting through them. This helplessness, coming from such powerful, massive living things, is infinitely sad.

I was intrigued to hear about a woman who claims to have heard the forest sing. Living deep in a forest in British Columbia, where the loggers cut 1,000-year-old trees, Gladys McIntre earns a living planting seedling trees. In June 1990, in part of the cedar wood forest called Howser Creek, Gladys found herself thinking about the 'immense  verticality' of the trees when 'a profound vertical alignment took place in me in response; and suddenly I felt about twelve feet tall.

I wondered for a moment if this was soul consciousness, then I was struck in my solar plexus by an impact of sound, in range and tone unlike anything I had ever heard before! Emanating from the forested hillsides across the valley, it was unquestionably a great hymn of adoration, of joy in Creation and praise to the Creator! Words cannot possibly express the magnitude of this joyous sound, nor my absolute awe at witnessing it.' 

But from being a song in praise to the Creator, the song abruptly changed from 'overwhelming joy to abject sorrow'. Gladys writes: 'My cognitive mental faculty seemed to be translating information received by my soul from that incredible presence at worship over there.' It said 'O noble and worthy, exploiters and conquerors, have mercy, have mercy, do not end our singing which allows the conditions necessary  to all life on the planet as you know it.'

I came away thinking that if the forests do communicate , Gladys is the right person to hear it. But she is not the only one. In another ancient forest  a young woman and her boyfriend  went to sit on a splendid mountain ridge  to admire the forest view. But instead of feeling glad to be in the splendour  the girl became overcome with a sense of panic  and fear coming from the forest. Sick with anguish, she had to return home. Days passed, but the sadness wouldn't go. The girl felt driven to return to that part of the forest, to try to understand  why she had been so affected.

When she arrived she was horrified  and stunned to discover the whole area had been clear-cut to the ground.

Although to  'civilised people' communicating with trees may sound bizarre, it is in fact something  that's been going on for a long time . Indeed , trees have long been central to spiritual culture. In ancient Egypt, the 'word tree' was associated with  a 'sycamore', possibly the sycamore fig that gave shade  to the goddess worshippers in their 'groves'. Kabbalah, the mystical aspect of Judasim has its 'tree of life' and has traditionally been taught  to men over fourty while they sat under trees.

In the last book of the new testament, revelations 22;2, we hear that the tree of life is in 'the midst of the street' in Heaven. Buddha received enlightenment while sitting under a tree. The ancient Assyrians had many tree cults, with the tree of life sometimes depicted as a cedar, fir, date, or pomegranate. The Chinese associated the tree of life with the peach, and in later times the Casia, while in Norse mythology it was the ash.

A Polynesian legend says 'out of this magic breadfruit tree a great goddess was made'. The sacredness of trees is universal, and this may not simply; be because they routinely offer their bounty, but because they have a spirit we can feel.

Reference://Fragrant Heavens/Valerie Worwood


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