When I go to births, I pray that I will be a tree. On the drive to the birth when my adrenaline runs high (what if I don't make it? What if something dreadful happens? What if it's a loooong birth? Did I forget anything? So excited!!!) I pray to be a tree to help ground myself. I pray that my roots will deeply tap into the earth, to the Source of All that Is and that I will have the energy I need to tend this family. I pray that my trunk will be strong but flex in the winds that will come our way, changing things, but allow me to hold them up as they make decisions they may not have anticipated having to make. I pray that my branches will reach out far and wide, so that my vision is broad and that I can see all possibilities.
This brings me comfort and helps me connect with the work I do, to stay compassionately detached from the family so that they can have their journey and not a recreation of mine in some backward 'healing' of my own wounds.
When I was having the biopsies last year, I closed my eyes, not allowed to swallow or talk as needles were pushed into my neck, I prayed to feel the bark enclose all around me, protecting me from fear and from anxiety, from the stress of holding very still while something that hurt happened to me.
I went to the Redwoods (the Holy Church of Trees) after my cancer treatment and I slept among the Old Ones. Great anxiety arose in me, I developed my first ever panic attack- my body moving giant energy up and out all at once. It felt like an emotional vomit. It set me off course a bit, made me feel vulnerable, but revealed, and open too. I created an altar on one of the trees in our campsite that had been cut down in just such a way as to create the perfect place for me to hold that space. I walked among the big trees and laid flowers at their bases, in gratitude.
I don't know why the trees talk to me, but they do. I don't mean with mouths and voices, but my heart stills and wisdom comes through when I walk in the trees. The Redwood forest is a home for me, but one so intense that I can't stay for too long, or go too far without returning. I feel the call right now, so intensely that when we went down to Oregon it was even physical, the urge to continue driving south to touch the trees, my family. Steadfast, wise, and breathing, only ever needing to be what they are and nothing more, supplying food and air and homes to beings of all kinds just by growing.
It's what we all do for each other, only we think we need to teach others the right way to be. All we ever have to do is be true to ourselves, and in so doing, we teach others - we create opportunities for other people to learn of themselves, and to teach us in return.
Right now, I go back to being a tree, of just being- breathing, being Kristina, speaking the truth as I know it, and being in that space of Nothing Else But This. I'm heading in to my endocrinology appointment and I'm not nervous per se, I feel pretty relaxed in general. That old feeling in my lymph nodes is back though, the one I had after my infection, and before I found out about having cancer. I don't think about cancer until this feeling pops up and then I think, "Am I creating this feeling?"
I worry more that it's all in my head than I worry that it's not. I do not want to manifest that kind of stress in myself, and I am open to all possibilities, so while I'd rather not have cancer again thankyouverymuch, I know it's not the end of the world if I do. I know it's okay. I know I have support.
So I don't know that I'm as 'anxious' about it, anxious enough to create these symptoms that do cause me concern- and I go back and forth wondreing if I should be concerned or just let it go and get the information I need? What if I worry people for nothing, what if I tie people up for no reason in my story and waste their time? Best I keep silent until I know more.
Even when I found out I had cancer, it was hard for me to tell people. I felt like I was bothering them, dropping bad news like this. There's no simple way to do it, and there are no 'rules' that tell you when to drop news, or when to keep it to yourself. I figured people would rather find out from me than someone else.
So now as I approach this appointment, I cling to the trees- but instead of becoming a tree, I am wrapped around it in a giant surrender - to let myself be held up this time, so that whatever is coming, I can put the tree to my back and face it. So either I'm crazy, or something's wrong, and I guess either scenario, I'll work it out.