Intercambio

photography by Susa SilvermarieI sit under the tree that is four trees grown together, the tree in the  courtyard of the Lake Chapala Society, the tree where philanthropist Neill James had her ashes placed, the tree my friend Maria Lupita played under as  a toddler when  Neill would wave to her from the upper windows.

Dear towering one, I sense the protectiveness of your energy. Thank you, magnificent one, for breathing out the oxygen that gives me life. I am a small human, dependent upon you tree beings from my very first breath seventy years ago. As I accept what I need from your exhalations, please accept, from mine, what  you need. Thank you for this  exchange between our species,  my original experience of sharing, my first and most fundamental experience of intercambio.

When I embrace your trunk, my arms can’t encompass you. Grandmother! I have my heart against your heartwood. I feel the grounded power of your body come into my body. Yes, please, pour your loving light into me. May my trunk be an open channel like yours, reaching up for sun, reaching down for water and connection. As you drink the sunlight and make your magic of photosynthesis, may I transform what I am given— into what I need,

The earth around your roots smells rich with the scent of life. We come from the same fecundity, you and I. I send my own, invisible roots, reaching down from each of my feet into the planethome we share. Your roots give stability and seek out nourishment, but they also communicate to other trees through mycelium, the tendrils of your fine white fungal network. Just so, my own neural network branches into fineness and just so, my lightbody energy field reaches out to touch that of others. May the rich smell of the earth at your roots remind me that none of us  of any species can fall from the jeweled net that connects us.

Now I put my ear to you, a tree that has, by growing four into one, made separateness into oneness. And the song I hear humming in your rising sap is one of oneness. A steady rhythm in your inmost parts. A sound without any doubts, a pure note of sturdy joy. I receive this music into my ear laid against your bark. I let the joy wash through my body as it washes through yours.

And taste,  oh, I imagine I can taste your fruits. They are juicy explosions in my mouth. The fruits of my own life, ripened now, are bending me back to earth with their abundance. This is my aging, being laden with fruit. This is my aging, my ripening, the smiling of my branches, back down toward my roots, making a circle of life.

Ancient one, I thank your species for my first inhalation of oxygen, and for some 17,000 inbreaths a day I have taken since then. I offer you and your species every exhalation that remains to me. And at the commencement of my lifeforce, to you who have exchanged breath with me  in this most intimate of intercambios,  I shall offer my final exhalation gladly.

   (writing prompt that generated this post: Go to a tree you love and write to it.)

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