• The Pondering of an Artist

The Enchanting Healing Power of Trees

“Love is like a tree, it grows of its own accord, it puts down deep roots into our whole being.”

- Victor Hugo



Autumn is the perfect time to go out into the woods and forests to collect leaves, fruits and seeds. It inspires me to bring home my finds and to draw and paint the subjects. The beautiful hues of Autumn. This has helped me a great deal in identifying our magnificent British trees. To walk in woodlands and forests is one of Nature’s free privileges. From a small seed grows an impressive selection of trees, each with their own characteristics and identities. No tree is the same, to which humans can relate. Trees that grow and spread their branches up to the sky. The roots grounded in the Earth, their branches reaching up to the heavens.

Trees offer us so much, providing us with their fruits, their shade and their shelter. A place to live and thrive for so many creatures providing a self sufficient eco system. Trees give us a connection to Mother Earth. Showing us the changing seasons. When I walk through the woods I feel grounded. The woodland environment provides me with escapism and solitude from a bustling world. A place to unplug from our devices and electrical equipment to detox through forest bathing, meditation and wandering. My mind being freed to connect with nature through the sights and sounds of the wood. The whispering of the leaves in the tree tops blown by the breeze, known as ‘psithurism’, the singing and calling of the woodland birds, the crack of boots on brittle twigs, the range of colours, and foraging possibilities, even the smell of damp decaying leaves underfoot, all contribute to the feeling of calm and contentment.

I don’t have a favourite species of tree as they all provide a plethora of natural gifts, whether it’s food, medicine and remedies, or materials, however, I am getting to know a tree in our local woods. An old grandfather Oak that has been there for hundreds of years, not that I have measured him…yet. I pass by him several times a week with Audrey, my Norfolk Terrier. Whilst I stand and hug him, she sniffs and snuffles around the base and I try to imagine how wise this old tree has become, what eras he has lived through, who he may have seen as they walk on by, maybe hearing snippets of conversations. I think of Thomas Hardy, maybe wandering by looking for inspiration to write. Hugging a tree has many health benefits, an exchange of energy and the most powerful way to raise our vibration which promotes self healing. It sparks my artistic imagination, imagining the woodland faeries living in the nooks of the trees, wearing hats fashioned from acorn cups. Maybe that’s what Audrey is sniffing for?

Trees are the Earth’s natural air conditioner. As part of the photosynthesis cycle trees release oxygen into the air and then we breathe it in. Cleansing us, rejuvenating us and recharging us. When you are next out in the woods, stop, look up, hug a tree and breathe.