Mya and the Tree
By Danielle Terhune (06/13/10 13:22:14)
Related animal: Tree

My sister sent me some funny pictures of my three year old niece, Mya, and her “new friend.” This new friend happened to be a big tree. Clicking through the pictures on facebook I couldn’t help but be brought back to the class when Barbara Janell, the animal communicator, had us all find trees to connect with.
During that class I thought I had felt the connection with the tree, but also had my doubts, and later on just wrote it off as my mind forcing an imaginative connection. I’ve always had a vivid imagination. It seemed silly at the time, and still sort of does, thinking I could connect with a tree, but after viewing the pictures of my niece I noticed that she seemed legitimately connected to the tree. There was fascination in her eyes. More then curiosity in her actions. Though there were many tree’s to chose from, she stuck to the same one.
In her first encounter with the tree he stands back and just stares at it in concentration. As if there is almost a silent dialogue. With Mya still lacking a large vocabulary as a three year old I imagine it would be easier for her to communicate with a tree. I remember with Janell I felt like the tree picked me, I didn’t pick the tree. And in the photo, Mya seems to be cautiously testing the waters. In the next photo, Mya appears to be looking intently at the bark. Maybe she’s wondering what causes it to look rough and cracked, she looks almost unhappy at the way it appears. I think personally for Mya it would remind her of a cracked scab or ‘owey.’ And coming to that conclusion may account for the sad curiosity in her eyes. In the next image she openly explores its trunk and bark. Maybe she understands that the tree is supposed to look the way it does. The next image shows Mya pointing up in awe, as if asking the tree how it got so tall and spread out its branches so far. I am sure being the little shorty that she is, she may be almost envious of its great height. She enjoys the feel of the tree, and I suppose if I were to believe that the tree really does have feelings or a spirit it might enjoy being tickled and by the soft little fingers of a young girl barely our of her toddler years paying it great attention. In the next photo she tries to climb it, obviously an impossibility due to its high branches. The picture where she is hugging the tree is so cute. Her arms wrap around it in a gentle manner, her cheek is pressed against it, and her eyes are heavily lidded. It reminds me of when Janell made absolutely sure to tell us all to thank the tree for its time and wisdom. With Mya wrapping up her “conversation” with the tree and her exploration of it with a very sweet and caring hug I am wondering if she realized it was naturally the right thing to do.
I really feel that children, especially the younger they are, have a deeper connection to nature then we as adults ever will. We have ‘advanced’ too much in technologies and agricultural systems that we no longer rely on plants individually for our survival, but our own knowledge to almost force an abundance of nature. Nature no longer choses where to grow, we plant trees and even transplant trees to better suit our needs. The fact that the tree in which my niece became attached to for a day was placed in a short row of trees outside of a warehouse is a harsh juxtaposition of the reality of where a little girl, who is growing up in a city like Houston, Texas, can only find friends in ‘nature’ outside of her daddy’s work. I grew up in Oregon where an overabundance of trees, nature, wildlife, and little forests everywhere can be found. I think that added a lot to the richness of my childhood, being able to find myself surrounded in trees and foliage. Yet as I look at these pictures of my niece and her oddly placed tree I am given a little hope that although we may destroy forests for the development of land and businesses and warehouses, nature still finds a way touch a little girl as she waits with her mommy in the parking lot.

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