Is This What God-Realization Means?

By Nina Brown

I am sad. Today I heard the buzz saw outside my house and knew that someone had come to cut down my beloved tree! I looked outside of the kitchen window where beyond the pinon bushes and just before the arroyo (dry ditch) stood the tree that I have known and observed for the last six years from my house in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The tree had a sharp saw blade in its stomach going deeper and deeper. I could feel the cuts and knew how different the planet would be when the trunk no long was visible, when the limbs were no longer able to support the hundreds of birds that came to perch each year. For me, my tree had not been dead for four years. It had been a conscious friend that stood quietly near my house providing a unique perspective of nature. Now it was going to be transformed.

When I first moved into my adobe style house, the tree was green and vibrant going through the visible shift of seasons each year. Then the drought came. My intuition told me that change was coming. And so it did. The green turned to brown never to return to the fresh colors of spring. The branches began to dry out and drop off. I had to make an adjustment as I looked out of my window from seeing life, to what appeared to be seeing death. As time passed, the brown color and stark appearance began to become usual and my comfort level returned, it had just adjusted. With the leaves gone, I began to observe a different reality. I could see into the skeletal structure of the tree. I could see the woodpecker pecking, pecking, pecking. I could see the hawk perched on the very top limb. My tree continued to be part of my daily observations even with its seasonal adornment gone.

Twice a year, I would walk out to the community ground, on which the tree was rooted. I went with an old, soiled, white sheet, which I placed on the dirt near the trunk. In my boots, gloves and blue jeans, I would pick up fallen branches that were easy to break or just the right size for my fireplace. When the sheet was full, I would wrap the corners together and throw it over my shoulders to begin the walk back to my house. All the twigs were stored in a wooden bin in my garage, so that I could easily fetch kindling for my winter fires. This ritual will cease, and I will have to travel further down the arroyo to find dried branches. It won’t quite be the same. I will go out one last time before the woodchopper returns with his equipment and harvest as much as I can. This time I will take the smaller logs that have been cut, as well as the branches. My fire next winter will be a ceremonial opportunity for me to give thanks to my tree.

Is this the definition of God-realization? Could it be that I am at a point where I love everything in creation equally? If so then my tree, in all of its cycles of life and death, has given me a precious gift, which I share with you, the reader. All of creation is one and in loving and appreciating one particle, we radiate love to all the particles of creation equally. This for me is the definition of the new Earth.