The Healing Trees


Inside my head was not a nice place last night, or early today. Yesterday’s post will explain a lot of the reasons for that. It was dark and chaotic, in the way minds tend to be when long buried memories surface and you wish they hadn’t.

And so it was that, on a cool, sunny Autumn day, Stonelaughter bundled me and the kids into the car and drove us to Sherwood Forest. It’s been the place I go to heal for a more than a decade and a small amount of time there can work wonders. I’ve often pulled on my boots and gone tramping through the bits of the forest that rarely see visitors, climbing over fallen logs and pushing through the overgrown undergrowth.

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I’m not quite up to that mobility wise, unfortunately, but we went to oak grove where we were handfasted. It’s still off the beaten track, although not so much as it was thirteen years ago, and mostly it’s a quiet spot. We’ve loved going back and seeing how things have changed, watching the growth of a particular tree whose branch reached out to us when we were married. Over the years, we’ve watched it reach further and further, reaching to the ground around the area we stood in the centre of our circle of friends.  We saw it again today, but now it’s not reaching anywhere. It’s lying on the ground, snapped off near the trunk, all life gone from it. I was shocked by how much it changed the feel of the place.

The little two decided to gather acorns, and I found a small twig with a bunch of leaves and an acorn still attached and decided to bring it home for my altar. I also collected lots of small oak twigs from the floor to create some stars with later in the week.

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Later, we moved on to Sherwood Pines. Plum wanted to collect pine cones and play on the big wooden adventure playground. This area couldn’t be more different from our peaceful oak grove. Alive with families playing, cycling, playing football, following the Gruffalo trail … it’s charming in its own way, but not the peaceful space I needed. We discovered that the adventure playground has been removed since the last time we were there, which was disappointing. We set about finding pine cones. Given that it is a pine forest, it was surprisingly difficult to find pine cones of the right size, dry, in good condition and uneaten by squirrels! We did eventually collect enough for our craft plans, but it wasn’t the easy job I expected!

Now we’re home with just enough time for me to retie my headscarf and change my boots before we meet up with friends to go out for a (noisy) meal.

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