Friday, January 11, 2013


Koosah Falls on the McKenzie River east of Springfield, Oregon.

I didn't really realize how truly rooted I am in the Pacific Northwest until I was
working my way through Rae Beth's books on wildwood mysticism a few years ago. (and it's world view not too far from the Celtic way of seeing Creation) She describes a guided imagery exercise that I decided to try. I love the description of the World Tree and I even found a very nice pendant showing a great oak with roots that go as deep as thebranches are tall. Trouble is.......I didn't grow up in the shadows of oaks,
maples, or beeches. Outside of a few trees in the yards around Oakridge, and the two dwarf apple trees in our yard I grew up surrounded by evergreens. And a single evergreen just won't do as an image for a world tree.

But a most evergreens, except sequoias simply won't survive by themselves. Sequoias, they’ve recently discovered keep growing. Adding height and diameter even though the tree is more than  two thousand years old.  Where an oak or maple has a low lying single trunk that branches and branches and branches an evergreen spikes straight up. I've seen a few cedars with a double trunk, maybe a triple but that's it. The branches tend to slope downwards to survive heavy snowfalls and the root system is usually shallower. This makes most evergreens vulnerable in ice storms or severe windstorms. The best defense? Grow in huge groves so that each tree is protected by the others. So a world forest as a symbol of faith isn't too far off. Each tree protects the others and any damage to one tree threatens the rest. So instead of one great tree, I find myself picturing a world with a great forest in every part of the globe with the roots reaching for the center.

So, where did this come from? As I read her guided imagery exercise my
little avatar didn't go looking for an oak or a maple. It made tracks for
the tall timber. Some place with tall trees, ferns, deep moss, some deadfall
for the mushrooms and lichens to grow on, and some berry bushes. If a
waterfall makes an appearance that is a definite bonus

 If I can't have a waterfall then a drippy, misty, coastal forest will do very nicely.So if my
 little spirit self doesn't head for the Cascades it heads for the coast. Not to the beach, 
to the great basalt headlands graced with low-lying evergreens shaped
by the winds. To that Pacific Ocean that William Clark called the Great
Western Ocean
. When he made the entry he said he wasn't about to call it the
Pacific. He hadn't had one pacific (peaceful) day since he laid eyes on it.
And silence. Not the scary, wake up in the middle of the night, where is
everybody silence. But the root deep silence of the world before the first
word was spoken. Not a silence where there is no sound. Bird song, wind song
and water song are part of that silence. A silence with no background hum. A
silence that sings.


JACKIE said...

OoooooKaaaay. This puppy looks a little ragged but I had the devil's own time even getting it to post. Maybe I'll clean up the formatting later.

Lisa :-] said...

Did you type it in Word and then copy and paste?

Anyway...lovely imagery for a Pacific Northwesterner born and bred. How could it be otherwise?

JACKIE said...

Yeah, but Blogger didn't want to publish it. So I did a restart on the computer and didn't save the nicely formatted version and neither did Word for some peculiar reason. So it came out a little raggedy, after playing with for an hour I pronounced it "adequate." grabbed one of Tom Cowan's books and headed for bed.