What Does My Relationship with Sistine Say About Nature?

I’ve been thinking about Sistine, a majestic ash tree outside my apartment window, and because I’ve had an experience that’s blown my mind, I’ve been thinking about nature, too.

I asked the name of this tree one day and heard Sistine, which means chapel. This tree is a true chapel—a nature-made chapel, an expansive shelter of love.

The amazing part of this experience for me–a friendship with the spirit of a tree–is that I asked for healing several times and received it. I received healings from a tree. I received healings from a tree! I don’t even know why I asked—it must have been a prompting from her.

I love trees and looking at their trunks and foliage, but I’ve been looking more closely at all the trees we pass and ask myself, ‘What does my relationship with Sistine say about nature?’ I’ve come to the conclusion that we have everything backwards. We say we love nature but nature loves us in an unlimited, unconditional way. We say we appreciate all the gifts of trees to us, but we have no idea who they truly are. They bring beauty into cities and they ground us. They clean the air we breathe, make shade and give us wood and fruit and places to sit and contemplate; that’s a lot—but they are far more than that. They are gifts from Mother Earth and they live for us. Apparently they can heal us when we love them. I wonder if our Creator asks the nature spirits if they will go and serve us, or if they’re sent, like angels are sent.

What does trees having the power to heal say about nature? I’m no longer awed by the beauty of nature—I’m astonished by the generosity of our Earth Mother, these beautiful beings and the Great Spirit who made them. Maybe bushes and flowers can heal us, too—I’m leaning toward yes, they can. And rocks we normally don’t consider—they have helped humans, too. We move them, break them up, take the minerals from inside them for machines and jewelry–while their job is to help us make a connection with the Great Spirit/Love/God. Twylah Nitsch, in Language of the Stones, says that if we quiet and center ourselves and hold a rock and ask it for help, we can see the truth of a situation and the solutions.

The world is very different from what we think it is. We have plundered and savaged our home on a grand scale for our varied purposes, which are commonly related to material gain. We really don’t get that there is far more to everything than we perceive through our physical eyes. How will we wake up?


5 thoughts on “What Does My Relationship with Sistine Say About Nature?

  1. I can definately relate to this experience, Pam. Some years ago I was attending a silent retreat up in the mountains of northern California. I was on a quiet walk and had sat down under a tree and leaning against it felt in some way very ‘connected’ to it – so I found myself quietly asking it “Who are you?” to which I ‘heard’ a reply very clearly – “We are the wind!”. At first I felt I’d got it wrong until I realised – you don’t hear the tree until a wind blows through its branches! Does this make sense? It did to me at the time and I’ve never forgotten that connecting and my respect for trees has never left me since then There is a tree that I have felt connected to on a wilderness walk I take sometimes and when ever I pass it I always stop – bow to it – and then go up and hug it. Hhhhmmmm – Michael.

    • Awww, that’s a wonderful story and I love that you bow and then hug the tree. I know we humans each have a spark of God in us but what if the spark in trees–growing things–is a more humble spark than ours, more service-oriented, more truly a reflection of the Love that made the universe? It’s a powerful idea, isn’t it?

  2. Hi Pam….WOW….what a beautiful experience and relationship!! I saw an article in the national paper this week saying that scientists had recorded the sounds made by a plant; apparently it was responding to another plant being placed beside it! I love when science starts to substantiate the spiritual experiences one has in life. I know that when I walk through a forest with a quiet attentive attitude, as opposed to worrying about my life, I feel restored. I wonder if part of that is the healing energy of trees that we pick up on even when we are not conscious of it? Thank you and Michael for sharing these beautiful stories. It does make you think about how we might walk on the earth differently if we thoughs of (knew?) that rocks and trees and animals were sentient. With love….Kim

    • Hi Kim,
      Thanks! I know you are lovingly tuned into ‘the whole’ and how much our dear planet means to you.
      Yes, it has made me think of what life would be like if we knew all these beings are out to love us. I’m passing through an uncomfortable stage–due to thinking about this, I’m sure–but on my walks with Roxie, I keep thinking about who (what spirit) is inside each tree and flower, even the rocks. It’s overwhelming to me–yet I know what I have to do. I have to let go and not wonder who they each are and be happy to commune with the whole. I guess it’s kind of like you can’t know every person in your city, but you can make a few good friends…

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