Touched by a tree: an amazing way of contact

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November 10, 2021: Yesterday while walking along the ‘Geleen’ stream an old oak that I never saw before attracted my attention. I walked towards it, laid my hand against its trunk, and admired its mighty tree crown and then contignued my walk. Last night I felt heath and and in the early morning I experienced increasing and declining vibrations in my abdomen and legs. It seemes to me that the oak passes on to me the abundance of energy of the place where he grows - an amazing way of making of contact.

(Photo above: Still from the documentairy portrait ‘The art of listening’ by Maja Hanssen made in 2021)

Gift from an oak; tempera on wood, 70x50 cm, April 2017

I realise that this pulsating whirls of energy that I often experienced at night always takes place after I gave my attention to one or more specific trees, and for the most part I know which tree it concerns. I began to experience these kind of vibrations for the first time in 2016; in my journal I count fourty in the period between 2016 and 2018. It takes a while before I can contain this thought: can trees pass on energy to me?

Bending over the ring of roots. Still from the documentairy portrait ‘The art of listening’ by Maja Hanssen


April 14, 2021: Reflective and with very slow steps I move from the edge of the forest into the direction of the stream. I notice how few effort it takes this time to keep my attention at all the oaks, birch trees, rowans, fir trees and hazels around me. It seems as if only now, after thirty years of walking through it, I can ‘see’ this particular part of the forest as a whole of different qualities. My attention is drawn by a group of birch trees, or better said, for the first time I see them as a unity. While moving even slower and more attentive among the trees I aproach a birch that stands out by a moss covered bulge at its foot and roots streching out in a ring over the earth around.

Entangled growth 6, ring of roots; ink on paper, 50x70 cm, August 2021

At the very moment I arrive at the birch - all I am is presence - I suddenly feel a soft but undiniable touch, an intence emotion in my breast as at an encounter with a beloved person. I stand still, touched by the presence of all these trees that take me up in its fullness. Behind my closed eyes a soft yellowgreen field of colour appears. After a while I walk to an nearby oak of which the distinct silhouette draws my attention. While touching it once more I’m surprized by the same warm emotion in my breast, as being touched by a beloved person.

Entangled growth 7, ring of mycorrhiza; tempera on wood, 70x50 cm, October 2021

Isn’t it amazing to know that different sorts of trees can communicate with one another and exchange nutrients as a coherend living system a.o. by way of chemical substances and electromagnatic streams together with mycorrhyza fungi and bacteria? But how is this possible: a tree that apperently emanates signals and a human being receiving this information? ‘Something’ is connecting by way of a birch tree with ‘something’ in me; interfering waves of consciousness? As if I enter another space, a field of attention created by generations of trees during hundreds of years. An empty space becoming tangible - on the moment in which my field of attention merges with that of the birches - where is nothing but love?

Dit dagboekfragment werd eerder gepubliceerd in Vruchtbare Aarde, Editie 4, Winter 2021.