February 13, 2018

Part 1: An Introduction to Tree Elder Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

Colorado Blue Spruce. Fallen during wind storm in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
I placed the palm of my hand against your tree rings, hoping to feel a heartbeat. Your spirit is still alive. You bleed fresh, flowing resin onto my hand, as if to say hello. Did they cut you today?

Share with me the magic of your Snake River forest bed. The beauty of what you witnessed here brings a tear to my eye. How deeply you love this land!
🐇
I count your rings, a total of 80 rings. Some years were better than others, you said. Abundant snowfall and rain helped you grow stronger and wider. Your narrow rings were from the drier years.

Like a scrapbook, so many memories and stories to tell in these rings.


I count backwards from your bark inward, looking for the connection of your rings when I was a young girl growing up here. Right here, about 1976. I ran my finger over this ring feeling the memories of that year in your trunk. What about 1982, counting four rings more. Yes, I remember that special year, I whispered softly.
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I imagined the man who cut you and hope he felt a connection too. The winds had been gusting to 50 mph and somehow you toppled, blocking this little-traveled forest road. You look so strong and healthy, I couldn’t find your breaking point, only where he sawed you in half. You must have been 100 feet tall. I bet you had amazing 360 views of our beloved valley.
Keep my spirit alive. Gather my resin, needles and bark. 

I honor you, I said. I honor your life of providing shelter and shade to bear, elk, deer, eagle and hawk. Yes and mountain lion, moose, fox, owl, ermine and countless birds, you reminded me.
🦌
Thank you for honoring my wisdom, my place in the forest, you said. Go ahead, keep my memory alive. Take my resin, my sawdust shavings, my pine cones and bark. Gather up as much as you can and turn me into precious incense. Tincture what you can and turn me into a beautiful essence. Celebrate me.

I have gathered you, sacred tree. Come with me. I will keep your spirit alive and we will create magic together.

More to be shared....

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