It is nearly midnight and the trees have stopped moving and finally settled down for the night. They are standing still, but although their faces are expressionless, they are sharing a secret language, communicating a steady stream of information that goes unnoticed by the sleepers who are turning in their beds, immersed in dream after flickering dream.
I am awake. I go to stand by the bedroom window and watch the quarter moon descending into the trees, where it is welcomed as an old friend, a regular visitor who drops by to shine for a time and then sinks out of sight. I try to listen in on the quiet chatter passing around the tree community. They do not think like we do, so I have to discard my own thoughts if I am going to get the gist of their conversation tonight.
Even though most of us see things in terms of light and dark, day and night, the trees have hundreds of different expressions for minute changes in the quality of light. To really understand their appreciation for luminosity, we need to pay attention to the steady parade of subtle changes taking place throughout the day. If we are very quiet, we can notice that nothing stays the same, even from moment to moment. This in itself is a salient recognition, pointing to the true nature of all appearances.
There is a sentinel at the gates of our senses, standing guard against the vast armies of pertinent information which might unravel our views and sensibilities if allowed to enter in. Instead, we only respond to the safe and vetted, the already too familiar. Only the already known gains passage, and so we remain essentially senseless, enclosed in a dead loop, cycling about in a cemetery of worn and futile reactivity. Our presumptions of knowledge merely represent the crumbling tombstones which mark our stale self-images.
We placed those sentinels at our gates out of fear of the unknown, not realizing that we came here for the very purpose of fully immersing ourselves in its revelations. When we remove those barriers, whether all at once or little by little, the rest of the herd will get spooked and disturbed: “What, are you mad, how dare you!”
Because you are raw now, vulnerable, you may seek the sanctuary of the forest, and the trees there will be kind, they will shelter you. They will share their secret language, their wisdom words which they have learned by standing still and listening, studying the changing light, and feeling to infinity, like we all were meant to do.