Print
PDF


france-itin-st-baume-forest

HEART WOOD

Jacqui Bushell Jan 2018

I’m out in the desert reading about trees. I’ve been here with Jane for the past month, back once again for renovations to our house in Broken Hill, a town in the Outback. It’s dry and dusty. Red dirt whirls when the wind picks up. The sun has been blazing hot most days. There’s a particular glare with the summer sun I find in Australia, our skies are huge and and high. I read somewhere that the sky is literally higher here than in the UK. I always feel like I need to duck down when in England, that the roof above me is very low. Out here, the sky is vast. I can expand my awareness for miles. That’s one of the reasons I love being here. Driving the long road into this big land, I stretch and ease into the peace of great spaciousness. Everything in me relaxes after being in the city for so long, cramping my auric field. I never realise how tight I am, as I love Sydney fiercely and passionately. Driving past Wilcannia, a coil in me I didn’t know was there unwinds and I breathe more deeply. It’s like I drop down a few inches and the land fills me with belonging. Regardless of how hot it is on the road, the car windows go all the way down and I smell the smells of hot red dirt and wild blue sky, spinifex, mulga, acacia and a silence so deep it hums.

Each morning, first the hawks hover over us, then the cockatoos, thousands of them, screech and skrawk their way from the stand of Eucalypts across the road as they fly over to their daily journey places.  Every dusk they fluster their way back, their noisy cacophony carrying through the still evening for minutes before we see them. Throughout the day, the crows and their laconic calls mark time. I imagine them like medieval monks calling out matins, vespers, compline, just a raucous Australian version.

Did you know that without wind, big trees can’t exist?

It’s too hot to be working outside in the afternoon, so I’ve been reading about cool lands, of old growth forests of ancient trees.  Then, while house painting for days, hours and hours of rich Isis blue on our studio, I think about them. Did you know that without wind, big trees can’t exist? It’s wind that allows heart wood to grow, so trees can be strong enough to hold themselves up, past a couple of metres. No wind means no strength to lift up. What a metaphor for us! Nothing buffeting us and we have no growth power.  I imagine the song of the sky carried through the winds, calling the trunks high, up from their embrace in the earth. I think about all the interweaving of roots and fungi supporting a dynamic system of forest communication, communities of interdependent trees, critters, winds and water. Everything in relationship with everything else, consciously.

dry-river-bed-bh

Trees live as tribes. The young or elderly ones being deliberately supported and nourished by mature healthy trees. In Peter Wohlleben’s book, The Hidden Life of Trees he writes of a stand of what he thought were mossy stones in a ring. On scratching their surface he found they were the outer circle of an enormous beech tree that must have been felled hundreds of years ago. The centre was rotted and gone, but the outer edges were still alive, nourished by all the surrounding trees, anchoring a continuation of its vitality and wisdom. Maybe this allowed the forest to continue to draw from the memories and knowing of this tree, that it fuels something essential into the landscape, like sacred standing stones, holding mystery and energies in the land. It speaks to me of conscious plant wisdom.

    You can listen to the river inside a tree, it crackles and
    sort of thrums as it moves. Tree heart blood flow.

Some early dawn mornings I drive out to the dry river bed. I love the ancient river red gums, all twisted and gnarly, the bright green parrots and walking the course of the old river. Dry as bone, the feel of the water is still there, the memory holds. Water has gone and yet not gone. I lie on a tree, draped over its huge lumpy trunk and gaze up at the leaves and boughs creaking in the breeze and smell its bark and sap. If you hold your ear against the trunk of a tree you can hear its movement. Did you know that? You can listen to the river inside a tree, it crackles and sort of thrums as it moves. Tree heart blood flow.

I feel a wild kinship here, my own flow merging with this old one, our boundaries soften as it allows me its presence and I offer my own quick moving being. I feel held and explored, then encompassed in something older and far bigger than myself. There’s not only the flow of this tree as I touch it and it touches me, but I feel how the tree is part of the moving of many cycles, of stars dancing across the heavens, of rains, rivers and birds. Its such a tiny and inadequate word, ‘tree’, to depict such a presence. I feel the stories of my own being become a small part of all the stories of this tree. I’ve been added into the universe of this river bed. I know that if anyone came after me and sat right here, they would would receive all the stories too, my own included. My story has become a thread in a vaster network and I too carry some of the music now, of the river red gums, their song in me. Kinship has developed with the sharing of our presence with each other.

    Balance points between opposites can’t be found through
    logic, they arise through the wisdom rooted in the ground
    of our body.

heart-wood-tree-picThinking of forests of green is so incongruous out here, where trees are sparse and needfully tough. I contemplate their struggle to anchor their beauty, their resilience and holding of land. The same wind that strengthens them, buffets my own body and my heart wood grows. I find my own resilience in this land that tests me with such dry heat, that toughens my body and challenges my spirit.  I always feel like I’m not doing my ‘proper’ work out here, not reading enough, writing, doing my admin, and yet, something strong always happens. Even with building fences and lugging tonnes of dirt, when I’m too exhausted to think or capable of conversation, something still shifts deep within me. I feel enriched and subtly altered. Reading and pondering about forests, great green stands of trees out here in the red, under vast clear skies is wildly incongruent and yet harmonious somehow in its contrast. Balance points between opposites can’t be found through logic, they arise through the wisdom rooted in the ground of our body.

    I rise rooted. The power is in the wind and our ever
    shifting dance of belonging. The land never leaves us.

Here, at the end of our month I realise I’ve found clarity and focus about my work and new directions, resolved niggling resentments and some long needed resolution decisions are suddenly made. All effortless, seemingly. Another crow flies over with a beak full of twigs longer than it’s body (they’ve been creating what must be the largest crow nest ever). It gets caught in a strong cross breeze and struggles to right itself. I think of all the cross breezes that have knocked me sidewards and upside down, sometimes tumbling me for years. My heart wood is strong and steadfast now. I feel where I begin, deep in the earth, aligned with the pulse of her heart. I rise rooted. The power is in the wind and our ever shifting dance of belonging. The land never leaves us.

Copyright Jacqui Bushell  2018

 

Latest Articles


Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/purether/public_html/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/purether/public_html/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/purether/public_html/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/purether/public_html/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/purether/public_html/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/purether/public_html/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/purether/public_html/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Contact us

Pure Therapies
P.O.Box 217, West Ryde,
NSW, Australia, 1685

Mobile: +61 414 837 558

EMAIL US