Have you ever sat on a park bench in the middle of a circle of trees, inhaled their scent, enjoyed their shade, gazed up through their branches… and felt loved?
That’s what happened to me just now, out on a walk in Ballard, where I’m housesitting for two weeks. I had found a little green rectangle on my map and made for that. It turned out to be Salmon Bay Park, one square block of rolling hills and meandering paths, picnic area and playground on the east side, trees and benches on the west. I picked a bench and sat.
I watched people pushing baby carriages. I listened to muted playground sounds. But most of all, I loved the trees. It was a hot day, and their spicy scent was in every breath. I took in their shape, their movement, their colour, and, all of a sudden, I felt them loving me back.
I don’t mean literally. At least, I don’t think I do. They’re not Ents, after all. But they were shading me, cooling me, making oxygen for me to breathe, filling my world with beauty. I felt their grand stillness, their solid rootedness, their openness to wind, to rain, to drought, to whatever came.
There’s wisdom in all of that. And somehow there’s kindness too. And love. I know. I know. I’m giving my imagination too much free rein. But I also know that few things are more healing than communing with trees.