This is quite a long story!
I have included as much background as I could, to create a fuller picture of my experience. I hope at the very least it is an interesting story and perhaps you may find aspects that you can connect to and are relevant to your own "Tree Experiences!"
Above are images of my very loved Willow tree.
The image on the left with all the mushrooms around the base is the most recent. You can see that the tree is "poorly" as my dad used to say. Sparse foliage, pale leaves and generally unwell.
The image on the right is older, taken from a different angle, but showing the tree flourishing. It was always one of my favorite spaces in my garden and I would take the opportunity to "touch" one of its long weeping branches whenever I walked past. It calmed me and made me feel safe somehow.
My early memories of Willows were always full of fear. I didn't understand why, they just frightened me. I would never go near one alone, by choice. In my child's mind, ghosts lived in them. I had a definite sense of "other beings" being present around them, and I was frightened by the unknown. I was surprised to learn that this fear followed me into adulthood and I would get the shivers just driving past a line of willows along a roadside, even into my twenties.
The first time I encountered a willow that did not give me this feeling was at a "Tree Farm". The Willow was enormous, healthy and when under its canopy there was a sense of protection. I bought one to plant for my children. So that they would be able to feel this same sense of safety when playing in our own yard.
The Willow grew quickly and under its weeping branches was a space that my three elder children would crawl into and sit. Like a natural Cubby. Shaded, cool, protected and private. This is where they took their cakes and biscuits and cordial to have picnics. It made me happy.
When we moved, the very first tree I planted at our new house was another Willow. The same Willow pictured above. It grew fast and again was a wonderful energy to have in our yard.
After the floods of 2011/2012 the Willow began to show signs of sickness. It never recovered its vigor. I stubbornly ignored the signs and hoped for the best. One Sunday morning a few months ago my husband was taking one of our children to sport and before he left he asked me to have a good look at the Willow when I got a chance and imagine the space, if it was gone.... no pressure, just think about it!
I had never discussed any of my "Willow experiences" with him, but he knew I would resist cutting down any tree, so I guess he was "planting a seed" so to speak, to begin the process of acceptance of the end.
The process of "Letting Go" of something that I valued.
Later that same morning, I was outside, around the opposite side of the house to the Willow, with two of our children, when our dogs began to bark and ran around to the other side of the house, as they do when a vehicle arrives. I had not heard an engine and asked the boys if they had heard someone come? One of them thought maybe a truck had driven in, which was strange on a Sunday!
I walked around to meet whoever had arrived, the dogs barked madly all the while. I couldn't see a vehicle and thought maybe they had pulled up below our shed, out of view, so I walked out of the yard and down the outside of the fence. The dogs were silent now, and everything seemed very still. I had an uneasy feeling and wondered who I was going to find.
There was no vehicle, and as I realised this, I also noticed that while the air was very still on my side of the fence, inside the yard the wind was blowing hard. Again I felt like something was happening that I did not understand and as always, this made me feel uncomfortable.
I walked back inside the yard to the boys and asked were they sure they had heard a vehicle, as there was none there? The dogs began to bark excitedly again and took off around the side of the house. This time I followed them immediately. When I arrived on the far side of the house, our three dogs were surrounding my Willow, a fair distance back, and looking towards it, barking loudly, as if someone was there.
I sat down a distance back and watched. As I did, the wind picked up again and a large whirlwind blew around the tree, lifting its long branches directly up into the air. It was a very impressive sight. A few of the long branches broke off and as the whirlwind moved away, out of the yard and towards the hay shed, it took these Willow branches and left the tree in stillness again.
The dogs stopped barking and trotted away.
I felt quite upset and realised it was time to release my resistance and made my mind up to let my husband remove the tree. I berated myself that he was able to look and see that it was sick and needed to be removed while I had to have some sort of "Spiritual Experience" before I was willing to accept the same.
A few weeks later (before the tree had been removed), I mentioned the experience to a friend, as we were walking through my garden, past the Willow. She stopped and looked and me and said "So you saw the Spirit leave the Tree, like the Buddist's believe?"
She explained that if a Buddist is going to remove a tree, they ask the spirit of the tree if that is OK, and if so, the Spirit of the Tree, will leave, so that the tree can be removed.
I realised in that instant that I had been present, when my lovely Willow tree Spirit left and my dogs had actually witnessed it leave. I felt a sense of peaceful acceptance. An ending.
I think I have learn what I need to know, from Willow, for now at least. This experience also made sense of many other similar tree experiences. For me all trees are guardians. Nature Spirits inhabit some of them. These can also be referred to as "Spirits of place". These Nature Spirits also appear to me as clear or blue orbs, like big bubbles floating in the air. Very cool, but a little unsettling the first few times I saw them!
According to "Falling Leaf Essences", Willow energy supports the Kidneys. It helps to release toxins and rebalance.
As a Kinesiologist, Kidney meridian blockages can be about unexpressed fears and anxieties.
As a child, I definitely felt my own fears triggered by being near Willows. Willow showed me my unaddressed fears and activated these fears. For as long as I can remember I often felt the presence of unseen energy, and was frightened. I would not walk to my own bedroom or go to the bathroom, without humming loudly, so that I couldn't hear anything or anybody else. There was never an actual person there, and to be able to hear noises and sense something and not have an acceptable explanation was frightening and isolating. The fear of the unseen was almost always with me. To be very clear, I want to stress this was not a fear of the dark (I like the dark, I find it soothing), but a fear of the unseen.
Then later as a mature adult, when I came into contact with Willow, I discovered it's positive energy. The opposite feelings of safety, feeling protected, especially within the psychic field of the tree, under its canopy.
My reason for writing about these experiences, which to many might seem far fetched and strange is to support anyone, particularly children, who may have similar experiences. It is wonderful to be able to remove the fear and bring in feelings of safety, protection and support. We cannot reduce our intuition/sensitivities, but we can be supported to accept ourselves and even feel strengthened by our individuality.
This happens as we allow ourselves to "know" the unknown. To have the courage to accept our "Truth", and know that while it may not be everyone's truth, it is a part of the whole truth that makes up the human experience on this planet.
Nature is my rock, my constant. I am grounded in a natural environment in a way I never can be when in an urban setting. I trust nature, even through my fears. I can receive and grow from experiences I have in the natural world. Nature can hold me while while taught or assumed beliefs fall short of my actual experiences and rather than projecting onto others, or spinning into overwhelm, I can slowly integrate these new realities into myself and allow my personal truth a space to live within myself.
Integration, even of seemingly un-explainable events, is so much better than dis-empowering yourself by rejecting your own experiences and therefore a part of yourself. These denied experiences represent aspects of yourself that you will eventually will have to accept and "Call home" to be whole.
Wishing you Wholeness and sending you Willow Love and Protection.