Talking with Trees

Anna - Burr Ridge, Illinois
Entered on April 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Talking with Trees

Henry David Thoreau once said, “I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” Walking in the neighborly forest is a place of reflection for me; I have often journeyed through those familiar paths, and with each excursion, I find a fresh image of myself. With each step, I gain confidence in the person I want to be because of my spiritual and mental connection with nature. I believe in talking with trees.

In middle school, my childhood friends became part of the stereotypical clicks and gossip-mongering society that I had always despised. On the outside I was a typical straight A student: involved in sundry activities and organizations, as well as being a role model for my community. However, I became the object of mockery and scorn; my qualities were degraded so that the values I possessed became my nemesis. It was a struggle for me because I felt lost, uncertain of myself, and ostracized by the people I had formerly regarded as best friends. For me, junior high was spent with months of tearful nights, because I felt powerless to change what seemed like an inalterable course of events, and felt utterly insignificant.

It was during these years that I began walking in the woods; my continual visits brought a peace at mind, that I had not felt anywhere else. The forest inspired me because it retained all the qualities I lacked, which included strength, harmony, balance, and confidence it its potential. By talking with the trees I was able to realize that I too had the potential, and the strength that I thought terminated long ago.

Although it would take me two years until I was able to confront those people who had made my junior high a misery, I now have the confidence in myself that I hadn’t had in middle school. I made a new set of friends upon entering high school, who share the same values of character and social attitudes I possess. I’m no longer scared to be myself, and my close friends are supportive of me. My constant forest walks have not diminished; I smile at familiar trees, and remember my past of struggle and ultimate victory. Because the trees talked to me, I was able to find the strength to be me.

Herbert P. Thorne once said, “There are rich councils in the trees.” The truth of this statement is incalculable for me. Because of my talks with the trees I journeyed on a path to self-discovery and happiness. For my years still to come, I will try to embody and live in the wisdom of the trees. Talking with trees…this I believe.