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Vibrant Days…. 

Flourishing with Sensory Processing Sensitivity

September 2015



Into The Woods

They’ve captured my attention since the beginning. I recall roaming the trails around the unique, multi shaded green, glorious beings as a young child. I remember tripping on the root systems that protruded from the ground and closing my eyes to prevent the branches from slapping my face. The smell of sap was sweeter than honey and remained on my hands and jeans long after a return to the inferior indoors. I’d climb as high as my fear would allow to perch on a branch and steady myself with one hand on the trunk. It was a wondrous, life giving, sensory-abundant journey. Into the woods.

Today I gaze at them through the house, car and office windows. On most days I drive to them just to be closer. For the last two years I’ve discovered the extraordinary gift of walking through the woods and being with these companions: trees. The dirt paths have been replaced by limestone and ick, blacktop but on some days I veer off and make my own trail. It never gets old and I always receive. I’m not sure if it’s the stunning beauty each tree holds or the tender sacred sounds the forest offers or even the oxygen the trees emit. I do know the trees have a way of gently loving me back into my self when boundaries between others have eroded. I prize the recognition that the Maker of the trees remains available and responsive to my sensitive wiring. Into the woods.

Mingling amidst the trees invites my soul to plunge the depths and greet raw loss, disappointment and love. It’s a beautiful mystery how their presence provides the perfect container for just about anything and everything. Into the woods.


Get ready for this video. No wonder we are fascinated by trees.


The Bare Arms of Trees

Sometimes when I see the bare arms of trees in the evening

I think of men who have died without love,

Of desolation and space between branch and branch.

I think of immovable whiteness and lean coldness and fear

And the terrible longing between people stretched apart as these branches

And the cold space between.

I think of the vastness and courage between this step and that step,

Of the yearning and the fear of the meeting, of the terrible desire held apart.

I think of the ocean of longing that moves between land and land

And between people, the space and ocean.

The bare arms of the trees are immovable, without the play of leaves, without the sound of wind;

I think of the unseen love and the unknown thoughts that exist between tree and tree,

As I pass these things in the evening, as I walk.

~ John Tagliabue


People and Trees: Intimately Connected Through the Ages

Trees Speak to the Soul of Human Beings

It is no wonder that trees have captured the human imagination since the beginning of time. Their strength, deeply rooted in the Earth, is an inspiration. Their trunk and branches are a wonder of nature because they stand sturdy and impenetrable most of the time, yet they can flex and sway with the wind when needed.

The whisper of a breeze in their leaves or the sight of ants marching in a straight line up or down their trunks remind us of the magic of nature that trees embody. They live for hundreds or even thousands of years, and so we revere them as keepers of past secrets and sentinels of the future.

Watching their cycles of growth, shedding of leaves, and re-flowering in the spring, people have long perceived trees as powerful symbols of life, death, and renewal. Since the beginning of time, humans have had a sense that trees are sentient beings just like us, that they can feel pain, that they bleed when they are hurt. Trees even look like us. People have a trunk; trees have arms. And so we innately feel a deep connection to them.

Many people say they can feel a tree’s vibrational energy when placing their hand upon its bark. With their deep roots, trees carry significant grounding energy. We naturally feel peace and serenity when walking in the shade of trees or on a forest trail.

Trees Help Us Every Day

A recent study shows that trees remove so much pollution from the air that they “prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in 2010 alone.” When an insect called the emerald ash borer killed off a significant number of trees in the American Midwest in the 1990’s and 2000’s, rates of human death from cardiovascular and respiratory illness increased.

More difficult to quantify is the psychological effect that trees have on people. People who spend time outdoors, or even those who have access to windows looking out at trees, have been shown to have better health than those who do not.

The Universal Tree of Life: Both Ancient and Modern

The concept of a Tree of Life, often symbolizing the connections between all life forms, is found in many religions and philosophies, dating back as early as ancient Egypt. The Egyptian tree of life symbolized creation and represented the chain of events that brought everything into existence.

Fast forward to modern science. The tree has become the quintessential symbol of biological evolution, as its ever-branching image poignantly depicts the unmistakable interconnections between all living species on the Earth.

The beautiful Tree of Life painting at the top of the article was shared with us by artist Judith Shaw. It was inspired by the ancient symbol of the Tree of Life as well as by Sacred Geometry.

The Tree Leaf and Eternal Life

Consider this beautiful commentary from Thich Nhat Hanh reflecting on a tree leaf:

“I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.’

… That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf because it is not afraid-it knew nothing can be born and nothing can die.”

Cultural Beliefs About Trees

Trees are considered sacred in virtually every place where humans have settled.

There are many profound beliefs surrounding trees that people have held for millennia. Here are some interesting and touching examples:

– Jocelyn Mercado


In this together,