Lot of trees in Oregon. I’ve met a few. Met one the other
week who had the distinction of absorbing and transmuting
the anger and angst of about one hundred and fifty teen
girls. Didn’t happen all at once. This was over a period of
about ten years. They paced themselves.
Actually, the teen girls came in angry and sad and left
regrouped and recalibrated emotionally. They managed to
deprogram themselves from whatever they’d been through –
drugs, self-mutilation, prostitution, physical and sexual
violence – and found a way to move on, leaving behind all
the emotions and pain that had led them there – that had led
a woman I’ll call Cheyenne to rescue and bring them there and
through the ceremonies they held at their tree, those
girls who are now women, became more whole emotionally –
maybe for the very first time in their lives.
I’m kind of impressed by this story. I mean, one hundred
fifty girls, one leader, one tree. A hundred and fifty lives
impacted, their psyches and choices so crippled by how
they’d been treated, that their salvation so to speak was a
random gift from the universe through Cheyenne and her
knowledge of the healing power of nature and the oneness it
creates for us all.
What are the odds that these girls now women were
intercepted and healed? How many trees would it take to
heal the rest of us? How many leaders have their eyes and
hearts in such places as Cheyenne? Maybe the answer isn’t
in the trees – how many, what kind. Maybe the answer is in
letting trees be trees and letting us be better to one another
so such things as needing to emotionally heal becomes a
rarity rather than a near certainty in these times.
Enduring others’ cruelty toward us when we’re young – even
when we’re older – is not the only price we pay. We must over
come our own self-enmity for allowing ourselves to be victimized,
to have unknowingly given permission to be mistreated because we wanted to belong to our family, a classroom, a social group at
the cost of our own self-confidence and sense of self-worth.
Trees are for growing and measuring humankind’s existence. Should that measurement also include the absorbing and
transmuting of humankind’s cruelties upon one another?
Can we as a society end the perpetuation of raw souls
needing to be assuaged and vindicated of their abusers? Can
we finally understand that, just like trees, we own our own
ground? We are ultimately responsible for what our roots are
fed and how we process or act on what we’ve been asked to
take in. So why would there not be equal honor and
treatment of all trees? Let’s finally bury the values of self-
entitlement and ego, and raise up kindness and humility in
Whether by chance or design, each of us has worth and
therefore we as a society have a mandate to treat each other
in a nurturing way. To do less is to perpetuate what we see
played out on the eleven o’clock news. Indulging silently or
proactively any kind of abusive behavior is to dishonor all the
“trees” in the forest. How dare any one of us choose that.