Humans co-inhabit a beautiful, lush, thriving planet that is alive and supporting over 8.7 million other species in addition to us. The massive degree of variation of life that we get to experience is a glorious spectacle to behold, one that fills me with boundless gratitude for life in every moment. Even further, we are discovering more beings that occupy this planet with us every day, and each one is spectacularly beautiful and unique, a temple to the divine spirit that moves throughout all existence.
I do not view the world around me as external. I think that concept is an illusion, one that arises from the ego mind and separation. Every moment we are surrounded by an infinite number of divine, spiritual beings that have different form than our own. Why do we have a tendency to thing that we are not the same only because we appear different? The same spark that moves through my vessel moves in all life, in all existence. We are all reflections of the universe, embodiments of love, and faces of unity. When we cease to separate ourselves from what we see, and realize that we are all the same regardless of our form, we relax into the now, expand into infinity, and radiate unconditional love.
After I returned from my jog through the mountains, I was experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance. I watered my flowers and communed with the bed, and then I found that the feeling wasn’t from the addition of something new, but from something being removed. I realized in that moment what happened, and all of the air rushed out of my lungs. My jaw dropped, my eyes widened, and I began to tremble. When I turned around, I knew that the glorious papaya tree that I lived with every day was gone.
Now I know how Treebeard felt when he came upon the edges of his forest that had been devoured by the greed and avarice of Saruman. ‘Many of these trees were my friends, creatures I had known from nut or acorn. They had voices of their own.’
The poignant sense of loss, confusion, anger, and sadness that came with acceptance overwhelmed me, and I fell into a swoon. In this space, I wept for all of the pain and suffering of all of the creatures in the world. Like the Lorax, I wish to speak for the trees.
I spent countless moments resting beneath its shade, leaning against its trunk, feeling the rhythm and flow of energy through its body. I ate of its fruit, I bathed in its presence, and I communed with its presence. I used to take pictures of its many faces, and I rejoiced in the myriad ways that it chose to express itself every day. The vibration and warmth of its presence healed me every day, and its stark absence is undeniable in the continued evolution of the moment.
I wept at the passing of my friend, which seems so needless and unnecessary, yet I know this too serves a purpose in the harmony of the universe. Even in its passing it has given me a great gift, that of the experience of mourning, the bittersweet feeling of grief that is born out of love. We can only feel the sting of its loss because of our awareness of its life. It gives me inspiration to plant more trees, and be an agent of growth and life upon this planet.
Of all of the animals and beings that inhabit this Earth, I think that humans are the only monsters. I don’t understand The senseless violence that occurs against peaceful beings that we choose to dismiss or disregard. We ignore the spark of life in their vessels, and nonchalantly extinguish these sparks like we have the right to do so just because we can.
Not until humanity can once again return to our humble roots as stewards and keepers of the Earth as opposed to oppressors and dominators of the Earth will we have peace. This extends to all creatures and all beings of existence, all of the temples of the divine light of life.
For my friend the papaya tree, I give thanks for our time together. I remember fondly all of the moments we shared, the feel of its shade and the taste of its fruit. I remember with gratitude all of the shelter and sustenance it provided for other beings, the sound of birds in its branches. I love the lingering beauty and scent of its flowers, the sturdiness of its trunk, and all of the lessons that it shared with me.
Thank you my friend, and I have all the love in the world for you. Until we meet again, in whatever forms we take, in this world or the next, thank you.