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Ceremony for “Mother Tree”

Collie group

Submitted by Nan Collie, Boise, Idaho, pine tree strangled by wire fencing

I was invited to teach at a women’s music camp outside of Boise, Idaho on 180 incredible acres of Ponderosa Pine, meadows, firs, and a community of women who love the land. It was breathing-takingly beautiful—the land itself, and the care these women take to tend it well. I was deeply moved to be there, to walk the hills around the main house, to see where the elk bed down at night, to marvel at the nearby sea-of-green forests, and to offer prayers where “The Grandmother Tree,” a great pine many centuries old, had been felled in a logging operation nearby.

I explained to MJ, one of the women living on the land and running the music camp, that Saturday was the day for Radical Joy events all over the world, and asked her if they would like to hold a ceremony and join the love and commitment carrying on that day world-wide. I also asked her if there was a wounded place on their land where they would like to hold a healing ceremony. She immediately knew that “The Mother Tree,” a beautiful pine in the meadow below their homes, would be the place. She is a beautiful old pine and she is dying from some time in the past where she was strung in with fencing wire, circling her body three times and forever impeding the flow of life-giving energy from the earth to her tall reaching branches.

We held a ceremony that Saturday afternoon, with so many others elsewhere on our minds and in our hearts, and it was truly inspiring. MJ led a pipe ceremony with her beautiful moon pipe, and we held a talking circle, drummed, sang, danced, and circled “the Mother Tree” with gratitude and love.  It is a lovely thing to honor such beauty and perseverance and grace, she has held the land and all who roam around her well. A circle was completed, I believe, in loving her back with such clear intention, such great love. I truly think she was singing with us and sharing her great pine prayer.

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