The Spirit Tree

There is a very special tree on this property. Actually, there are many special and unique trees. But one in particular stands out as a bit larger, a bit older, perhaps even a bit wiser.

This grand old sugar maple sits at the corner of a property fence line which has existed for ages, as can be clearly seen in the weathered cedar rails which still rest in place. Three people would be needed to hold hands all the way around its massive trunk. And that trunk supports an expansive crown creating a shape not dissimilar from the archetypal Tree-of-Life image.

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Maples and Oaks on fence lines were often spared from the clearing to create agricultural lands and so for 150-200 years this tree has stood firmly rooted in the earth, while at the same time defying gravity as it reaches skyward. An interesting characteristic with a lesson for us: seek continual outward growth, but stay grounded.

spirit_tree_branchesAccording to Whispers in the Woods: The Lore and Magic of Trees (2006) by Sandra Kynes, uplifting attributes of maples are believed to include: abundance, balance, communication, creativity, divination, grounding, longevity, love, transformation, wisdom.

If trees are capable of sharing wisdom (or is it that their company can help us access our own deep inner wisdom?) this tree is a good candidate to spend some time with. There are spots in its buttressed roots which make perfect seats to lean back against the trunk.

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Click thumbnail to download two-page story of our Spirit Tree

This special tree also played a part in luring me here from a conventional life in the suburbs, in leaving a 50 foot suburban lot in favour of a 50 acre woodland, and all the learning and challenges that come with living off-grid and stewarding a forest. If you would like to learn that story, it was printed in The Extraordinary Tree Project (pub by The Ginger Press, 2016) a book in which people across Grey and Bruce counties were invited to submit stories and recollections of their favourite trees.