One of my favourite Buddhist meditation teachers, Venerable Antonio, used to remind us during the long days of sitting practice in retreat that, whilst it may feel like nothing is happening, in fact everything is happening, we are just not so good at paying close attention.
At this time of year everyone is getting impatient for spring and the last days of cold, grey weather seem to drag on interminably. It seems like nothing is happening but, when we look closely, we can see that actually everything is happening!
This is how I felt whilst observing my Tree of the Year this month. Nothing much was changing at first glance and the escarpment Hawthorns looked as wintery and asleep as last month.
Looking a little closer I could see that perhaps changes were appearing after all…
Do you see the tiny buds? Look closer still…
And even closer …
And marvel at the beauty and potential held in the smallest of things.
Now is also a fine time to admire the twisted roots of Hawthorn, before we get distracted by leaf and blossom. Like miniature landscapes they rise and fold, their contours are at once hard and soft and I’m quite convinced the faeries live amongst them.
On the way back down I took a detour to visit another of my favourite Hawthorns. Sheltered beneath the Downs she can grow straight and tall compared to the trees at the top who are forever bent to accommodate the unrelenting winds. I’m convinced the quality of the medicine from the two trees will reflect the differences in their circumstances and, this year, I will make flower remedies and tinctures from both to compare.
Hawthorn blossom allows us to expand and flourish and I imagine that a remedy from the escarpment Hawthorn would lend us strength to do this in even the most adverse conditions where as one from the second tree would allow us to create a sheltered, loving and safe space in which to grow.