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  • leonimcgough

Wise giants

I was very fortunate to be able to spend my childhood on the edge of a beautiful forest. From the age of five, the forest became my sanctuary. Whenever I was sad or felt the need to escape, I intuitively sought comfort in the proximity of the trees. I ran into the forest, often across country, and immediately felt the healing, calming effect. As I got older, I sometimes sat for several hours on a lonely, hidden bench in the middle of the green and looked through the treetops at the sky. I immediately felt calmer, connected and safe. The combination of calm and at the same time feeling the presence of pulsating life energy in the forest has always grounded me and given me strength. As a child in the forest, I felt oneness for the first time, the interconnectedness of all things, and found solace in it.

Nowadays the forest is still my refuge. I'm lucky that I live at the edge of a forest again, just like in my childhood. And just like back then, I am still seeking the proximity of the trees and their healing effects to relieve stress, to ground myself, to let my body and mind calm down and to reconnect. I walk through the forest and immediately feel my shoulders drop a little lower. I can breathe more freely and unnecessary physical and mental tension is released. I close my eyes, listen to the music of the forest and immerse myself in the earthy scent, losing myself in this soothing feeling of interconnection.

Trees are great teachers. If you take the time to listen carefully, to look very closely at them, you can learn all the essentials from them. Trees live in harmony with everything that surrounds them. They only take what they need and give tirelessly. They are strong and powerful, but also flexible, gentle and forgiving. This enables them to survive almost any storm. They form deep roots and stretch towards the sky at the same time. They grow slowly but steadily and never stop evolving. A tree changes when necessary, while remaining firmly rooted and grounded. It lets go when it's time to let go without desperately trying to hold on. It gathers its energy inward and reduces its activity when needed, but produces and expends liberally when external circumstances permit. If we all learned from the trees, this world could be a so much more beautiful place. We need our forests, our lakes, rivers, meadows, plants, oceans and animals. When we go out into nature and reconnect, we realise what is construct and what is real—being defined as a human being suddenly becomes less important. Going to the forest, the sea or the mountains heals the soul and body and reminds us what it really means to be alive and how precious all life is. Nature is not something outside of us, we are part of it. We breathe the oxygen that trees and plants produce for us, and they use the CO2 we exhale to start the cycle all over again. Everything can only exist together with everything else, all being is one huge interconnected ecosystem. Any damage we do to any part of this system always affects us as well.

When we go into nature, we return to our own origin, we reconnect with ourselves and with everything. This is how we can heal and become whole again.

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