Wisdom Visions  
Wisdom Visions
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by Gill Schwartz



I was living in a little dome tent in the Upper Ojai Valley. High desert rolling hills thick with low branched, gnarled trees. It was the hot, dry season, and the feared wild fires had sprung to life the last few days and been dancing across the hills just above me. A group of us had been watching throughout the time – me, anxiously, unused to such rampages and anxious to save my tent and possessions – the others, Californians, accustomed and with a laid-back, 'lets see' stance.

When the blades of fires had finished turning the woods to scarecrow cinders, my spot was still spared. The powerful smell of smoke flavored my dreams with images of cremations for several days. On my first afternoon free, I went to communicate with Grandmother Tree to help me understand more and relieve some of this trauma I still held.

She was an ancient, huge being. Her four-foot wide trunk rose some thirty feet before her majestic limbs reached to create a wide dome. Many of the classes and workshops of the teaching center where I lived took place there, seated on the ground beneath that dome. Everything, from medicine wheels to tantric teachings. So Grandmother Tree had developed a wise and sensitive aura. We'd had especially good connections before.

As I sat on the ground beside her and attuned to her aura I perceived her more mythic dimensions. Here, in this parched, pebbly soil, she sent heavy roots down to water tables that never ran dry and spread heavily leafed branches to create soothing coolness in the biting sun's midst. Her many seasons had brought her a wisdom that included much of life. In my Energy Body, I felt alignment and absorption with her aura first in the Root Chakra at the base of my spine. At the Root, her primal earthiness brought my body into resonance with it, with all of the earth. And my Belly Chakra, just below my navel, she awakens me to her own profound sylvan wisdom.

I asked her about the fire that had widely ravaged the nearby land side for days, the trees that I had often walked amidst that had helplessly perished in the blaze.

Grandmother Tree responded to my yearning question by taking me into the very 'consciousness' of those trees to experience what they did. Resonant as we were in both those Centers, she thus conveyed to me that while their sense of being and aliveness is clear, there have no sense of individuality. As if each tree experiences itself as a budding off the pool of its species. And, while their aliveness makes every effort and compromise to survive, when the fire came, it was like the inevitable death and dissolution had been merely speeded up. There was no 'self' there to fear or suffer. The life-force was simply being returned to the pool from this particular form it had taken. There was no grief, no loss as I had pictured, because, Grandmother Tree explained, there was no separate self there to grieve.


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