Connecting with Redwoods

I recently spent two days hiking through old-growth Coast Redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, the tallest trees on Earth. The forest looked primeval as giant trees towered over ground covered in ferns, trilliums, irises, and clovers. High in their branches grew more life mirroring the forest below while fallen trunks, covered in moss and ferns, lay across the forest floor sprouting new trees. I gratefully inhaled their fresh exhales as I gazed up their massive trunks to the forest’s soaring canopy. Being in their presence filled me with a great sense of wonder, aliveness, and connection. Walking among these incredible trees, I asked if they would like to share any of their wisdom and I opened my heart to listen. I would like to share the lesson I received, photographs of the forest, and a way that you, too, can connect with their wisdom and energy.

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Redwood Speaks

You can change your relationship with time. You do not have to fight its speed, trying to hold on to the hours, minutes, seconds as they tick tick tick by as if in the blink of an eye. Instead, relax into the passage of time and watch as moments slow and stretch open as if creating more seconds, minutes, and hours. You will find that you have more time to get things done without so much rushing. Savor your moments—life is made up of moment after moment and to live is to be present for each moment. Savor the moment even when it is spent at a desk, for even that is living. Savor the moment when you watch a sunset and it reaches beyond time forever in that moment. Branches reaching up to the sky, roots traveling into the earth, needles breathing and drinking as if in slow motion. This is a moment savored.

What moments do you want to savor? What moments create the life that you want to grow into? What feeds and fuels your soul? What do you need in order to thrive? A small seed settles on rich living soil, drinks rain, humidity, sun, air and its threadlike roots climb down as its twig trunk begins its ascent. What is your soil, your rain and water, your sun and air? Identify what they are and make time for them so that you grow your life. Be honest with your answers—don’t tell yourself what you need to live a life like another’s (there is nothing to be gained from that). 

As you relax into time and timelessness, you will find more moments to enjoy your soil, rain, sun, and air. You will grow your grounded roots, your resilient trunk, your graceful limbs and needles as you grow into your truest life. Like trees in a forest, when you fuel your soul and your branches reach high, you help others grow, too. Even when a tree falls, life continues to grow—tree clones sprout along the trunk, ferns and moss and lichen grow, beetles, bugs, slugs, worms return it to the soil as new life thrives. What alchemy do you have to offer the world so it becomes more fertile for the future?

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Redwood Meditation

Gaze upon one of the redwood images here and intend for your heart to connect to the trees. Do you feel a shift in your energy? Can you feel the Sequoia’s energy reaching toward your own? Inhale gently through your nose and into your abdomen inviting this connection. Exhale slowly through your mouth and visualize your energy mixing with the tree’s in front of your heart-center. Close your eyes and reflect on what you just read and what it means to you. You can ask the Redwood for clarification—What does this teaching mean to me? You can ask the Redwood what else it wants to tell you—Do you have something else you can share with me that will offer me support in my life? You can also just sit and breath as you feel Sequoia’s energy, basking in what this quiet moment of connection has to offer you.

After a few moments, or what amount of time feels right for you, offer your thanks to Sequoia. Take a deep inhale and gentle exhale as you see your energy separating from the tree’s. Take another breath and wiggle your fingers and toes, move and stretch until you have fully disengaged and returned to your surroundings.

I invite you to use these images and this meditation to connect across any distance to these incredible trees at any time. ♡

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If you would like to learn more about the growth and life of a Redwood, here is a short article by the National Parks Service and a TedTalk by science writer Richard Preston.