"Richard St. Barbe Baker, the great tree-planting saint of England, used to spend at least ten minutes each day with his hands on the trunk of a tree. He said this recharged his energy by connecting him with the tree's powerful circuitry. He was quite serious about this; he recommended it as a natural cure for malaise, stress, and other degenerations of the body and mind. I suspect he knew that the root of the word druid, or tree-lover, was the same as for the word truth. A tree is its own truth, purifying others with this truth as they enter the zone of the tree's energy.

"Being in a tree is not the same as sitting beside a tree or underneath one. Entering the space within the tree, I meet the tree on its own terms, subject to the conditions of its shape and history. I fit my body to the tree's body. I enter the web of tree relationships and slow down into tree time. No thoughts, no ideas, no direction, no anticipation. Just the breeze blowing over our shoulders, the silverfish scuttling over our bodies, the sun moving along minute by minute cleansing the ragged mind.

"The healing power comes from just being present with the tree. It magnifies the pull to truth, to wholeness. As I am held by a living being, I participate in this powerful force. I enter into the tree's healing presence and merge with the powerful truth of this magnificent blue oak. I rest in the arms of the ancestral tree, at home with my animal body, at ease with our time together."