When I arrived home from Boston after my birthday trip to the Mother’s Plunge, it was late. We pulled into the driveway and the automatic security lights came on. Like a spotlight they shone directly onto something new.
In my front garden where there had been nothing before, a tree stood. A beautiful tree with a cluster of slender trunks all reaching up to the sky, like a yogi greeting the sun. It was new but it looked as though it had always been there.
A half hour later I stood in front of it with my friend Edamarie, a garden designer who had placed it there, a gift for my birthday. She told me it was a witch hazel. Every healer needed a native healing tree in her front garden.
I have come to believe that everyone who shows up in my life is a teacher, and this tree, no less has much to teach me.
Witch hazel, so strong and flexible that its wood is used to construct bows: teach me to bow to life as it is, to bend not break.
Witch hazel, used to calm inflammation and wounds: teach me to gently take the sting out of life, to soothe those I come in contact with.
Witch hazel, which is so connected to the earth and magical. Witch hazel with your branches used to make divining rods and to discover underground water and energy: teach me to pay attention to the treasure underfoot.
Witch hazel, winter bloom, which only blooms after letting go of its leaves: teach me faith and to bravely let go so I might blossom.