From acorn to oak tree


We are just back from a ten-day stay in Findhorn where we attended Stephen Busby’s workshop Embodying Higher Consciousness: Healing the Whole. This retreat came at a perfect time to top the first stage of giving birth to Yggdrasil Living Wholeness. We had spent the three summer months taking over the house and its huge garden, settling down on Bornholm and exploring its many enchantments, and setting up the business. As we sailed off the island, we felt that we had taken care of the foundations of our future enterprise and carefully tended to the soil from which our Yggdrasil will grow. The workshop also completed a time of deep inquiry into higher consciousness that started in February with the online course just at the same time that we visited Bornholm for the first time house hunting. With hindsight, the gestation of Yggdrasil Living Wholeness and our transformational journey into the realm of the subtle energies and higher frequencies of consciousness are so tightly interwoven that we know that we have been practising and experiencing wholeness on a large scale and for some time. There is no discontinuity between our learning journeys and our everyday life, and we feel truly blessed. Blessed for the guidance and the support that we are receiving through the we-spaces we take part in as we unfold our story, and blessed to be able to fulfil our aspiration in living wholeness and experiencing togetherness.

When we took over the house we found that the previous owners had chopped down an old oak tree that was shedding too much shade on the house. We were told that we could have the stump removed if we wanted, but we immediately said NO WAY!! Being a tree person since a child, I felt that it had been a mistake to chop it down although I could understand the architectural reasons for doing so and appreciated the light that it bought in.

I have always had a deep affection for trees and can spontaneously feel strong connections to some trees. My heart was full of sorrow for this particular oak tree. May-be because my first “tree friend” was the centurial oak tree that still dominates the playground in St John’s infant school, Mortimer, Berkshire. I spent many happy hours with my girlfriends tending to the hearth made of cut grass that we would lay out in the roots of the tree and shooing off the boys who wanted to interfere with our feminine matters. A big picture of this oak tree – the tree of strength and grounding – has followed me around and hangs on the wall close to my computer. It is in good company with two photos of the beech tree – the tree of knowledge – who I regularly visited in the Robertsau forest close to Strasbourg. The beech tree was a faithful companion as I navigated the challenging project I was leading in Strasbourg, and the place I would go sit and meditate as I crafted the next steps of my journey. I told him I wanted to meet my soul mate and a life companion for the next part of the journey. Shortly after, I met John and later introduced him to the beech tree who was promptly named Bell, in honour of Graham Bell. John said he had to be named Bell since I had dialled him up with my request and he had answered the call.

In the beginnings of Yggdrasil Living Wholeness we had an oak tree stump and photos of an English oak tree and a French/German beech tree. We started by taking great care of the stump, blessing it and wondering how we could give it its rightful place in the wholeness project. It is quite likely that Yggdrasil, the tree of life, could be an oak tree and therefore should find its way back into our big picture. Should we use it to support an open fireplace insert? Put up a birdbath close by? None of our first ideas seemed to appeal to him until Benny our gardener suggested we used it to plant the butterfly bushes we are so fond of. It now holds two buddleias, one deep purple for John and the other bright pink for me. They are doing extremely well after a difficult start in another part of the garden that didn’t seem to do them justice. It seems that we have found the perfect match and that all are thriving.

Towards the end of the workshop in Findhorn, we became aware that since we had been attending to the soil, it was time to start planting the seeds. Before leaving Bornholm we had started collecting acorns and tentatively planting them on the grounds. We would very much like to replace the oak tree and I can see myself ending my days in the house looking out on an oak tree and taking shelter in its strength as I did in the first years of my life. Receiving an acorn from Findhorn would be a significant blessing. During the week we were often looking out for acorns. None came. I even tried asking the young oak in the original garden if he would let me have an acorn. Yet again, the answer was not yet. Then, on the final day of the workshop, John called me besides him and indicated that we had spent the entire week under the benevolent protection of an oak tree. He suggested that we went to ask him permission to take an acorn back to Bornholm. The next break we did so and as we walked towards the oak tree we found a huge acorn in the middle of the path just waiting for us to pick it up. The gift could not have been clearer.

During our last circle of sharing John told the group of our intentions and asked each person to bless the acorn. It was very touching to watch it slowly go from one hand to another, receiving an abundance of blessings as it circled the room and soaked up the energies of the field of loving presence. The following morning, Sandra bought us two hazelnuts that she had also been invited to pick up and an apple from her garden suggesting that we could sow the pips. The acorn, the hazelnuts and the apple were carefully stored in a thick sock and travelled back to Bornholm. We are now waiting for the December new moon just before the winter solstice to plant them.

I have just realised that my birth tree is the oak. Could there be more synchronicity to this? I doubt it. I can now rest in the knowledge that I will enjoy the strong presence of an oak tree for the last part of my life.