The girl wandered through the forest all day with anger driving her and sadness filling her heart. She to wanted to go on a vision quest, even if they were only for boys. Now that the sun had set, she felt fear dancing at the edge of her consciouness. She was lost, her stomach was empty, and she was thirsty. 

She sat quietly by a tree and listened. The wind had always guided her, but her anger had drowned out it's voice. The leaves began gently moving so she stopped to listen. She followed the wind. The air was fresh and sweet with the fragrance of water. After a few moments she found herself standing beside a brook. She thanked the wind and dipped her hand into the cool water to quench her thirst. As she looked up she saw a young fawn watching her. Their eyes met briefly before he ran off to join his mother. 

She crossed the stream and filled her stomach with ripe berries and pine nuts. Summer was almost over and the Earth was bountiful. It was to late for her to try to find her way home, so she wandered along a path until she came to a beautiful clearing. The Grandmother Moon filled the area with a shommering light. 

She raced to the center of the clearing and began to sing and dance. Ectasy filled her young body and she danced until she fell to the ground exhausted. She drifted into a deep sleep but voices kept calling her back to consciousness. Finally she pulled herself awake. 

When she opened her eyes the world looked very different. When she tried to move her feet she found that she couldn't. Then she looked down at her body and screamed! Her young body was covered by gnarled old bark, her arms were limbeds, and her feet went far into the earth. She was a tree, an old gnarled tree. 

"What happened to me? What have you done to my body?" Laughter filled the air.  

"I don't find this at all funny! Now give me back my body!" 

"Not so fast, my child, take time, watch, and listen. You will learn much," said the wind. 

The young girl took the winds advice and began to calm down. She listened in silence and watched intently. As she looked within her new body she felt only acceptance, love, and a great deal of patience. There was no need to hurry; the seasons would come and go no matter what she did. In her branches she supported many families; there were birds, a young squirrel, and colonies of ants. The wind constantly carressed her and Mother Earth met all her needs. She was at peace and one with all about her. She sighed and surrendered to the feelings of peace filling her heart. 

She had a great deal fo knowledge but she had no idea where it came from. The voices were quieter now but she could still hear them if she listened carefully. 

"Who are you?" asked the young girl. 

"We are the ancestors, my child. We are the keepers of the ancient mysteries. We store all the knowledge of the earth for all time." 

"Where are you?" 

"We are all around you my child." 

The young girl grew silent and in that moment she knew. 

"You are the trees that speak to me, aren't you?" 

"Yes, my child, we are. We stood silently bearing witness to all that has passed upon this earth. Our roots go deep and spread across the land. We have long been the keepers of the knowledge. In times gone by, beings of your kind knew that and honored us. They would come to us in times of joy to share their happiness. They would bless our spirits for warming their homes and cooking their food. Some of the tree people would speak to you through their carvings. We stood as great totems before their villages and held the spirits of their nations, but your kind has forgotten. You think we are just trees. You forgot that you owe your very lives to us. We make the air you breathe and guide the winds upon the earth so the rains come and the air stays cool. We are glad you finally came to us, child. We are grateful one of your kind is once again willing to listen." 

The young girl felt the sap coursing through her viens and knew the truth of the words she had just heard. The trees saw all and knew all. They understood with Love so they held the knowledge in a clean and pure light. A tree embraces the moment of transformation with joy ~ man calls that moment death and fears it. 

The young girl was lost in her new world and her spirit rejoiced. The last thing she heard was a voice telling her, "Teach others to talk to us, teach others to know our Love. Share this gift you have been given." 

When she awoke she was lying in the clearing looking up at the star people. She stretched her arms and realized she had returned to her old body. She immediately felt sad but then she heard the murmuring of the voices. She raced over to the nearest tree and threw her arms around it. She opened her heart and she was one with the tree. She would never see life in the same way again. 

The next morning she had no trouble finding her way home; the trees had guided her. Her mother was filled with both anger and relief when she saw her daughter walk into the village. She was about to admonish her daughter when she saw her eyes. They had changed; they were no longer the eyes of a young girl. Her daughter was filled with wisdom far beyond her years. 

The mother silently led the girl into the center of the village. The girl sat at the edge of the well and waited. Slowly, one by one, the villagers started to gather. She told her people of her vision. She picked up a piece of wood and gave thanks to the tree that had agreed to become fuel for the fire, to warm them, and cook their food. 

She led the little ones over to the nearest tree and taught them how to listen. She told them to stand with their backs against the tree and ask for it's wisdom. Next they started to take a few deep breaths and call upon the four directions and the four elements. Then they were to stand in silence and let the energy of the tree flow through them. After a few moments, if they had truly surrendered, they would feel a gentle rocking. When the rocking eased, they could merge with the tree and see the world through its eyes. She reminded them to always give thanks and to approach a tree with humility and in Love. 

She took the elders over to the oldest tree at the edge of the village. She said a blessing and introduced them to the spirit of the tree. For years the men had gathered here to talk and confer; now they knew why. They offered thanks. There was much laughter and joy as they sat down to commune with the spirit of their tree friend. 

As she fell asleep that night the young girl looked up at the branches that held her roof and gave thanks. She prayed that someday humans would learn to take time and talk to the tree people. She smiled for she knew that she would meet the spirit of the trees in her dreams. She would remind all who cared to listen of the "Gifts of the Tree People"

May your inner light shine like the shimmering of leaves through the sunlight,

⤞Deanna and Kent⤝

 Willow Spirit Studio