As many of you may know, trees are one of my greatest passions. So, back in 2006 when I was studying with David Winston in his 2-year Herbal Studies Program, we had to complete a medicinal botanical-related project - one for each year. Of course I chose to do mine about my tree friends: their medicine, their contributions to humanity, their mystery, magick and use in traditional ceremony and ritual, etc. I dove into my research with wild abandon, gathering as much information as I could. I used books of course, and I also used my connection with the trees to help guide me about what information they wanted to share.
As the months rolled on, I found that I could not limit my project-turned-'book' to just one year, so I was approved to expand it into a two-year project. I had so much fun with my botanical buddies, that I finally realized that I would have to force my Self to stop writing so that I could turn it in! With that said, I would like to quote from the Epilogue:
"First and foremost: My love and gratitude to all the trees who unselfishly lent their physical and spiritual support to my discussion ~ and especially to those trees who graciously stepped back and agreed to wait for volume II ~ or a book ~ whichever comes next.
Secondly, it is my hope that you have enjoyed reading this paper as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Some of the lighthearted comments contained within are mine, and some reflect the humor and good-natured-ness of the tree spirit I was working with ~ whether sitting together with them or researching in books ~ their chatter, input and friendship was unwavering.
I hope that I have conveyed some of my passion and appreciation for these silent, giving beings: from oxygen to food to shelter to shade… …and still they keep giving. Even though the majority of humanity has been so destructive with them, they still choose to be among us, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn… ...to listen……and, when they decide, …sometimes even to speak for them."
In wanting to share an excerpt, it seemed only fitting to start with the chapter on Willows. I hope it brings new understanding and helps strengthen your relationships with the trees in your yards and neighborhoods.