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Monday, 2 May 2011

Festival Of The Trees~ 59

In a magical land, long, long ago, trees grew freely with no fear of being harmed. Mystical beings roamed this land, and lived an existence that was peaceful & calm (even the trolls & dragons were pretty well behaved most of the time so long as you left them alone). Trees were respected, their wisdom revered, and all who lived there cared for the land. 'Twas a happy existence in this fairy-tale place, protected from "progress" that raced across earth. 

But there came a time, the inhabitants were worried. The balance of nature was going awry, more & more creatures & magical beings, were seeking safe harbour in this mystical place. Refugees from de-forested lands, were pouring in to seek solace. The elders & dryads conferred at length, then sent their kindred back out to the world. Their mission was vital, they must succeed... to infiltrate 'people' to spread the word, that trees were essential to the world's well-being.

sycamore

Some of the nymphs, pixies & elves chose to resemble human beings (our s-elves) to get their message through. I think Jasmine could be one of them as she spreads her Natures Whispers, sharing her wanders in a forest of dreams, and of 'wakeful green'. Valerianna must have fae blood too, for she shows how forests can heal the soul and her paintings of Ravenwood Forest are magical to behold... be sure to scroll down & look in her side-bar for more artistic treats!

Those clever creatures from long, long ago, have so many ways of helping us see & two Rebecca's show us how... Rebecca In The Woods and Rebecca of A Year With Trees. It's not really hard to be inspired by trees when we open our eyes & open our hearts. Dorothee shows us in Virtual Notes, to look in all seasons at how beauty abounds, and Clytie finds a tree wearing its heart on its sleeve! Another who speaks with a dryads voice... is a Greenwhisper of love for magical forests & woodland trails, impossible to leave without feeling at peace. Debby has undertaken a fantastic project (at least for an artist that loves trees!) drawing & discovering the history of an ancient forest.

rowan

Many fairies & gnomes hid in legends and tales... making sure that grains of truth always remain, no matter how often tales may evolve. As stories do, they snuck into our homes & into our minds... adults may need some help to see, but all children know that magic is real!  Silvia, whose name is 'of the forest', is one who remembers the magic of childhood, she tells her tale at WindyWillow. On the subject of willow... young Cathy learned how to observe & pay attention with the willow from her grandmother... a  skill she learned well as her painting 'Forest Through The Trees' shows.

oak

Fables do tell of good versus bad, carrying the torch of triumph over adversity, a theme that recurs in tales you read here. John compares his life with illness to a tree enduring a lightening strike... and these two curious trees demonstrate just how resilient & enduring they can be when lightening does strike. Gene shows some videos (worth watching all three) of a historic oak that was struck... in this case it was 'people' that got in the way of it's recovery (obviously they need some fairy dust!)
It is always sad to see a tree come down, but that is not necessarily the end... we can learn much from their spirit & tenacity as Barb explains.

rowan

Barry also speaks of the tenacity of trees & asks what we can do to help... perhaps he too has some elven blood, for he creates the most magical leaves (elves) enfolded with words that I know are spreading around the world. Those crafty pixies & co are taking their mission seriously, helping artists to weave subliminal messages into their work in diverse ways. Who could fail to be moved by a Song of Hope like this? And look at her name... Forrister... who can deny that sprites are at work here & now at the Free Spirit studio. This piece, a more abstract design, is inspired by the Tree of Life. Oh that Tree Of Life, as Stella says, 'the tree of all trees'.... inspiring our thoughts and the paths that we take. I reckon that spiralstone's sequence of events contains sprigs of that tree.

ash

Of course, in that forest, long long ago, everyone knew that trees speak to your soul, and magical beings, right here on earth, are spreading the word for others to hear. "She Speaks" says it perfectly, as does "Songs of The Loving Earth", both stories told by Little Drum of The Dreaming Tree, accompanied by the most beautiful photographs. I'm sure you will see the tree spirits as you wander through this sacred space. Laura in her gnome-mound hears them, calling with the rain and she shares a tender blessing watching leaves unfold. Another Laura also feels them call, saying 'let me count the ways'... (laura, from the latin laurus meaning laurel, hardly surprising then that these two who share a name both sense the energy).

The energy of trees is enhanced by the moon, and at Moondreamin' we see moonlight streaming through trees... the words apply equally to moon & tree. It was a full moon that inspired a collaboration of poetic reflections between karyn & steve... the energy was certainly flowing from the first email to the final poem & image.

elm

Sherry is following the progress of the dogwood tree, go see the poems she writes... of the dogwood legend; there's more as the month goes on & finally it flowers. Ash also keeps an eye on how trees progress, and has been known to undertake missions in top-secret places. His photos this month are a joy to behold. A couple of questions I just want to ask... Have you ever seen an alligator tree? (straight out of the magical forest it is!) And do you know your chestnuts? There's more in the comments on that one, fascinating to read. This month I've been photographing the progress of the elm and the sycamore if you want to see.... trees always inspire so many thoughts for me!


May 1st is Beltaine... an ancient festival celebrating the fertility of nature that is so apparent in the northern hemisphere at this time of year... Ambermoggie takes a stroll through the trees & shares her Beltaine Blessings & insights. For Kimberley at Oakmoon Studio, woodlands have inspired her to begin painting & writing again... oh, the healing energy of the trees works in so many directions! There are even trees planted to represent directions... the Compass Sycamores. Trees have inspired some of the greatest literature & Richard Horan set out to collect the seeds that inspired americas literary greats

willow

Now, humans can be.... well, strange.... they don't like to be "told", which is why the inhabitants of forests of old have had to employ these subtle ways to coax & inspire.  They even sent a delegation to hide in the words of every nation... the word-sprites are found in language & text, weaving their clues through the words & phrases we use. It's true. Just look at the word "inspiration"... inspire... = spirit, sprite, surely you can't argue with that when you can see how everyone here is inspired? I know they've been reading & are secretly pleased, that so many people are inspired by trees!

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed & taken the time to write such wonderful material. It has been a pleasure to visit every branch of this festival.... may you continue to be inspired, and to be such an inspiration.

Festival of the Trees

did you spot any tree-sprites on your way through?

28 comments:

Barry said...

Wow - S - what an amazing post - in the words, images and links. Thank you so much for all the time and effort it has taken to draw this together and to share it so that it inspires us. As a tree lover it is so good to know that there is a quite band out there doing their bit to support and heal the trees that as you say many of us do our best to destroy. Thanks - go well and grow well. B

La Dolce Vita said...

WOW what a great post, I will have to come back when i have more time to go through all the links!! fabulous...

Suzi Smith said...

Thanks B, there are an awful lot of people who do care out there x
Lol, cat... there's enough to last all month eh! thanks x

Barb said...

Suzi, this is absolutely lovely! Well done. I'm going to forward this on to all my nature lovely friends.

By the way: Happy Birthday!!

Suzi Smith said...

Thanks barb... how did you spot that? I was so nearly a beltaine baby, but for british summer time!

PatioPatch said...

Hi Suzi, what a superb spin of tree spirits you have created here- a hostess with the mostest for FOTT. Magical narrative and I love the little tree sprite in image 2. By the way, is that last image, Black Poplar bark?
thank you for weaving me in here. In the spirit of Laurel you take the crown.
Laura

Suzi Smith said...

It was a pleasure laura....heh, heh, i wondered who would spot him (and there's another elsewhere!) it's willow... a giant of a tree. i meant to put what was what under the pics... will go back & do that (my eyelids were drooping by then, lol!)

Georgia said...

Suzi: lovely narrative! Glad you mentioned Richard Horan's book. I found out about "Seeds: One Man's Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers..." last week and look forward to reading it.

LauraX said...

Suzi this is woven together so beautifully! Thanks for all of the lovely links...the photos are amazing!

Sam Brightwell said...

Suzi, you are like my catalogue and directory of all things wonderful on the web... there's a name for something like that, isn't there? Perhaps an almanac? Not sure.
I am in wonder at times, at how much thought and time you must put into posts like these, and how you manage to do it. Thank you.

Matthew said...

Lovely.

rebecca said...

Thanks for hosting, great festival!

goodbloodbadblood said...

Beautiful Suzi! A tour de force filling us with wonder about trees. It is much appreciated. I'm delighted to be included.

John

Suzi Smith said...

lol, sam...thought you were swearing at me there! almanacs retain information, everything goes straight through my mind, that's why i have to write it down!

I'd been thinking of the idea for a couple of months & even had posts grouped in a semi logical order.... til a week to go, when entries flooded in & any attempt at organisation went out the window! Once i started writing it took on a life of it's own & burnt the midnight oil a couple of nights... its when i work best!

John, so wishing you well, got everything crossed for you x

SpiralStone said...

Beautiful post and gorgeous tree images! And so many wonderful links to follow! Thanks for including me Suzi :)

Barb Forrister said...

Suzanne, this is an absolutely delightful post. What a labor of love! Truly inspirational! Thanks for sharing.

Ash said...

Thanks for a great festival Suzi. Really atmospheric photos!

Clytie said...

What a gifted writer you are - with a wonderful imagination! It's taken me a while, but I'm finally half way through the links! Thank you so much for including me in your world!

P.S. Did you see the heart in your first photo?

Suzi Smith said...

i'm impressed you're half way through already clytie... i looked & looked & couldn't see it... then came back & it jumped out instantly...thanks for that!

Suzi Smith said...

i'm impressed you're half way through already clytie... i looked & looked & couldn't see it... then came back & it jumped out instantly...thanks for that!

GreenWhisper said...

You, dear lady..have a gifted voice..this is magic beyond magical!

thanks for including me,lovely x
will pop back laters to check out all the delicious links:) xx

GreenWhisper said...

and a gifted eye:) these pics are amazing! love the chunky willow bark.

GreenWhisper said...

fantastic links suz, dont think i'm even halfway through yet..but will be back when time permits to check out the rest:)

some amazing blogs out there xx

Suzi Smith said...

thanks sue... they take a bit of getting through, but worth it if you get chance x

Suzi Smith said...

thanks sue... they take a bit of getting through, but worth it if you get chance x

julie said...

I do...and then we have the very best conversations...xoxo

Suzi Smith said...

knew you would julie! x

Tiffany Godinez said...

Nothing like art and nature to speak to our soul. Those photos are amazing!

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