I am riding my bike on a street near my house, when I remember I have an office nearby. I ride my bike to my office, remembering as I ride. When I get to the office, I worry that I will not be able to get in the building, since I have no key. The door opens for me anyway. I go down the hall, remembering as I walk, which office is mine. I open my office door, and the room seems small. It is a triangle shape, with a single bed against one wall. Uh. Seems odd. I sit on the bed and the room transforms into something else – the wall behind me is no longer a wall, but the base of an enormous tree. Oh, I remember. My job is to dream with the tree.
In my last article, I spoke of how I dream of trees.
This tree dream came just a few years ago, in a moment of great transition for me. My daughter was getting ready to graduate from high school head off to college and her life. My partner and I were beginning to plan to move from the town and state we had lived in for a long time [he for over 25 years, me for over 20], to go on adventures.
A time of reconsidering everything.
This dream is striking in that I have forgotten, but I do not know I have forgotten. I am just riding my bike through my small town, pedaling along quite content. It is my body that begins to remember – the way I ride my bike brings back a body knowing that leads me to “my office” which I had forgotten.
My body knowing that leads me into the building and into my room. Which looks strangely small. My body knowing that leads me to sit on the bed in the office.
In my personal mythology of trees, I think of them as holders of remembrance. Not just the elder trees who have been here for hundreds and hundreds of years. But all trees, in some way. Embodied remembrance of earth, of sky; of hosting and communication; of presence and community.
I think of trees as alchemists – the magic of leaves/needles, sun, air, water, soil, and all that is converted in the process.
I think of trees as long memory and slow. Long memory and quick.
In my dream, I had forgotten and forgotten that I had forgotten. I had forgotten my relationship to this tree in my office. The impossibly large tree – a trunk as big as the oldest redwood. A height I could not see in the dream.
My body remembering in the same way I imagine a tree remembers.
In my mythology of trees, this tree is not a symbol from a religion or tradition or necessarily a story I have read. I have been influenced, yes, by what I have been told trees are and what they symbolize. But I have my own connection, my own storied life with trees.
Here is one of my trees. All I need do is remember that my job is to dream with it. All I need do is remember I am a dreamer with trees. Not separate, but with.
With trees and what this particular tree means to me.
Remembrance. Long and quick. Remembrance of alchemy. Remembrance of earth and trunk and so many hands reaching for sky and light and water.
Remembrance, in my particular moment of transition, to remember all I carry inside of me – my remembrance, my alchemy. Long and quick.
My tree – my teacher, my companion, my co-worker.