A Pine’s Lesson

Spring Green on Pine
Spring Green on Pine

Today I am feeling the burden of a release waiting. The tension is in my neck and left shoulder, where the weight of an energy that I need not bear is ready to be freed. It is an old, stubborn weight; a habit carried over from childhood. These cords that bind us can be hard to cut. They are stubborn, they chafe and rub at our comfort, reminding us that their energy is still there.

I have learned that a verbal cutting of the ties that hold us is quite different than an energetic release. We can say we’ve had enough, we can even shut the door on welcoming more, but until we let go of the history, the accumulated burden we bear inside our cells, we have not truly let go.

The release can be layered, in fact it often is, as our bodies are not designed to deal well with a rapid, sudden change. I peel away my layers as though I am molting outgrown skin. I am a snake, uncoiling into spring, leaving behind the lacy ghost of my former self, but I am also a bear, shedding an old coat of energy in patches that leave me temporarily unbalanced. What remains, holds on the tightest.

I passed the pine tree before I turned to go home this morning. The creak and whine of the burden it bore called to me as the dogs stopped to sniff and pee. There were two pines, to be precise, one dead, one living. The living pine bore the weight of the dead, which had fallen into its arms. With each breath of wind, a moan was released at the place of union between the two trees, as the weight they shared shifted but never fully let go.

As I studied the two trees, joined by a death, I saw how the burden from the dead pine was creating a wound in the live pine. At the crease of its limb, the bark had rubbed raw, the orange skin below exposed. I imagined it felt like my left shoulder. There was a parallel between us, the pine was my mirror.

On Easter I had shut a door verbally, but it was something I had tried to do before. I’m still waiting to see if I will allow the door to be opened again, in some form, while my shoulder and neck remind me that my body and soul is waiting for a true death and resurrection. And, I cannot deny my dreams. Last night I dreamed I was trying to find what I had intended to let go. Before I got there, I had been delayed by the purchase of an over-large ice ream that was supposed to be the color of a rainbow. The total of the dripping expanse of sweetness was $12. I scoffed, I angered. It was all too much.

Joanne Scribes writes on her site, Angel Numbers, that the number 12 represents the combined energies of 1 and 2. One, is the number of beginnings, 2, of unions. Combined into 12, the energy of the number calls for the release of old habits and burdens so that the soul can begin anew, fresh, unencumbered. Resurrected in truth. When this occurs we are free to live out our soul’s purpose without the trappings of old attachments.

The male cardinal
The male cardinal

A pair of cardinals appeared later, nestled together in the azalea beside my driveway, at the conclusion of my morning walk. Here again was the number 12, in different form. Ted Andrews writes in his book Animal Speak that the cardinal’s cycle of power is year-round, reflecting the rhythm of the number 12 (symbolic of 12 months, hours, days, etc.). These birds, Andrew writes, “remind us that regardless of the time of day or year, we always have the opportunity to renew our own vitality and recognize the importance of our own life roles.” (pg 124).

When we let go of the dead weight, the burdens of the past we need not carry, we set free the energy of our true self. We allow ourselves to live in a free, unencumbered form, to shine bold and bright in the light of our truth. This is what we all strive for, whether we know it or not. This is the yearning of each soul, and it is a gift to self when we let go of the ties that bind.

Robin: The Bird of (Re)birth #robins #robinsymbolism #robintotem #rebirth #sacralchakra #throatchakra


The American Robin is considered by many to be a harbinger of spring. When the robin returns to its summer home in the spring, it gets to work building a nest with its mate and laying a brood of beautiful, sky-blue eggs. It is also one of the first birds to sing at dawn, harkening the new day with its melodious voice.

The robin, in many respects, is a bird of beginnings, of birth, and of the rebirth of the true, creative self. Upon its proud chest, robin shamelessly displays the color orange. Although robins are considered to have a “red-breast,” the color is really a deep orange, the vibration of the second, or sacral chakra. Orange and the second chakra are symbolic of our creative and sexual drives. This wheel of energy stirs us into action, and when balanced and healthy,  enables us to live our creative truths without worry of how we will be received by the world.

When I see robin, the bird always inspires a sense of awe and reverence. Standing erect and confident on the ground, where it digs through the body of Earth for sustenance, robin appears a master of the self. The robin has no doubt who s/he is, unafraid to sing in full-throated beauty the first song of the morning.

The robin births eggs in the spring in the color of the cloudless sky, making the robin a creator of truth and a teacher for a healthy throat chakra. The throat chakra is the fifth chakra in the set of seven primary chakras in the body. It is closely tied to the second chakra. When we are able to create freely from that seat of orange energy, we need to be able to bring it up through our throats, where we express our truths with compassion and confidence.

Near the end of last summer, on the first day of returning to school for my children, I experienced a day of magical peace and communion with nature. It had been a difficult summer for me, not because the kids were home, although that presents its own set of challenges and gifts, last summer was a time of transition for me. I was emerging into the field of energy healing, and was getting ready to finish up my memoir and start sending it out to the world. I was feeling called to release old fears and habits that were no longer serving me. Part of this releasing was letting go of relationships that were no longer in alignment with who I was, and my upper back, neck and shoulders were suffering the struggle to unburdan an old, heavy load.


That day at the end of August, after I sent my children off on the bus, I was able to decompress and live in the moment in a way I had not been able to for a long time. I spent the beautiful sun-filled day with my dogs walking in the woods and sitting outside. Many birds appeared to me, including a hummingbird, flicker, and robin. For a long time I watched these individual birds and took in the lessons they had to offer. Robin sat in a maple tree in my front yard, toward the middle of the afternoon shortly before the kids were due off the bus. I had my camera with me all day, and I captured the bird on the branch, then watched as it released a single feather, which swirled with gravity toward the earth beside where I sat. A gift, it seemed.

Spirit sometimes speaks to us with feathers, offering them to us as a gesture of hope and reassurance that we are a part of a great, universal love that is so vast and infinite we can hardly comprehend it in our human form. I am often reluctant to take feathers from the Earth when I see them, for there is also the belief that one should not take from Earth what one does not need, or belongs to someone else. Sometimes, though, the gifts are so overt one is pulled to accept them. That day, as I gently lifted the fallen feather, feeling the vibration of the robin’s energy still humming inside, I knew I had been given a precious gift. A gift of new birth and beginnings. It’s been quite a journey.

The Heart of a Tree

Heart of Tree

It’s been an emotional week for me, as I process the energy of rebirth. In this time of spring, this is what I am choosing to call the destruction around me. On Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 trees were felled in my yard in an effort to bring the unfiltered energy of the sun to my too-shaded home. There is mold my attic, there is green mildew creeping along the white edges of my siding.

You could say I put this off for too long, but each cut of the chainsaw was felt inside my heart. My love for trees extends back, I am sure, lifetimes, but my memories start in my childhood as a little girl seeking happiness in a life of loss and new beginnings. When I was 5, and beginning a new life apart from my birthfather and extended family, I climbed the slender limbs of young maples to seek refuge, and to find peace. Here, in the embrace of a tree, I would find a joy that was often elusive on the ground.

Some of us, especially those who have totem animals such as bear, are meant to climb trees, even as adults. All of us, can benefit from their energies. When I walk in a forest of trees, I heal my inner child. When I walk in a forest of trees, I find myself laughing and skipping with joy. Sometimes, I sing and dance. I am alone, but I am not.

Trees, with their ability to live for hundreds to thousands of years, harbor souls of wisdom. Their roots mix and mingle with the energy of the underworld, where the Earth radiates love to ground and births life. The arms of trees bloom into canopies of green, harnessing the divine energies of the universe. Stand or sit with your back pressed agains a tree’s trunk, and you cannot help but feel this powerful connection of energies. It is sacred.

Before my 7 trees were felled, I visited each one individually. Placing offerings of found feathers, dried sage, and lavender at their feet, I whispered words of gratitude, and asked for forgiveness. With my body aligned with theirs, I felt our energies joined into the universal energy of love. Along with their forgiveness, I asked the elemental spirits who tend to the trees, to rebirth their energies into new life.

It has been a week of rain and sun, fitting for rebirth. Today there is the energy of gray stillness – the aftermath of death, which is not death, but a pause as energy is recycled and repurposed. The only water that drips, is from my eyes. Although I await this new life, and the sun’s healing rays, I mourn the loss of 7 trees.