In the summer of 2007 I suddenly, ravenously, craved being in the mountains, hiking in the trees. This had never happened to me. I had always been an ocean person and retreated to walk on the beach when I needed a soul connection. At this time, I needed a shift of some sort in my life, but I did not know in what direction. I generally knew that there was so much more for me to do and to give.


However, my agitation came like a thunderhead from out of the clear blue sweet life I was living and after some searching, I found the respite I required in the Columbia River Gorge, Falls Creek Falls Hike. For perspective, I did not own hiking boots, a backpack, or even tennies. I had silver sandals with 1 1/2" heels and certainly no water bottle! However, I drove the hour and a half one way a couple of times a week to be there, and to experience a face-splitting grin from the moment I entered the forest. I can recall the body's excitement and joy even now. 


I would hike to the falls, usually the only person on the trail, and sit in blissed-out meditation and ask for guidance. I would receive messages and poems.  


I wrote and I searched and I was on fire. Something big was moving through me.


Just a few weeks into this, one afternoon I was bounding down the trail on the way back, and I abruptly stopped in front of a big fir tree. I said, "You have been here a long time, maybe you know something". Instinctively, I placed my hands, palms flat, on the trunk and leaned in with my forehead touching the tree.  I was jolted by the immense presence I experienced radiating from this tree. No mind, no ego, just pure loving presence.


I had instant recognition that the life force moving through this tree was the same as the life force moving through me, 

and all things. Same, same. This is huge. Oneness opened before me as a visceral experience.

Earth, trees, people, ants, grass, wind--all of it, everything, experienced as the same life, same. 


This changed my life direction and me forever. Trees are beings with no ego interference with a constant flow of presence.

This is what I craved, and I had to have more.


Over the next few months, I was initiated by the trees. This is the only way I can explain it. I spent as

much time as I could with the trees and was given layers of experience that brought me into a focus,

curiosity, and surrender. My passion grew with greater depth and awareness.


My first meeting with the fir was in early July. In mid-September, I was in an accident and received a

traumatic brain injury. I had many symptoms at first but did not know I had TBI as it had not

yet fully expressed. I also did not have a clue about what traumatic brain injury entailed. It was not in my orbit.


I had planned to go to the Olympic Forest in October, before the trails closed for the winter.

I wanted to experience this old-growth rainforest and to meet the trees. I checked with my

guidance and was told to go and that this would sustain me through the winter. I did and

will write about this elsewhere as meeting 1000-year-old trees in a forest of their own

making is too big of an experience to contain.


I am also containing my time with TBI as it was a 9 1/2 year ordeal of hell. I survived it because

of the great love of my daughter, a few friends who stuck through it with me, and my connection

with trees.


The heartbreak of my brain not working and the incalculable loss I experienced

(income reduced to less than 20% of before, life-long friends leaving, selling my home,

inability to drive, read, listen to music, paint, even meditate, often to stay conscious and

so much more, whew) left me feeling broken and disheartened in the extreme.


I could not do activities that required using my eyes and brain together. This was almost everything I

previously did! Identities that I understood as "me" fluttered away and the best defense I had

was to groan and rollover. I did recognize the outstanding spiritual opportunity present

in this experience.


Any day that it was possible, I would get to the forest that was about 15 minutes away.

There, I lay on the earth among the roots or curled up next to a tree and was nurtured.

I was better when in the trees. 


Gradually, I improved, but not nearly enough. Still, way outside the normal that I had known previously,

In 2016 I was able to take my urgent, heart-open request to the trees. I spent hours moving from

one tree to another asking all of life, with the connection and support of trees, for healing.

It was then that I met the hornbeams.


Hornbeams are not especially stunning trees, and they are not huge, but they are mighty.

They called me, and as I tuned into their energies and super alert community, I was overcome by peace.

The peace transmitting from these trees is like nothing else. In this atmosphere of home and

complete connection, I sat among the hornbeams and made my request for healing.


As I tuned in, I was told that I would meet someone soon who would be like a partner for

me and to be open to this person. It would be powerful and good for me. In a little over a month via internet

connections, I met Jacqueline Best. She is a potent energy healer and I was her first official customer in her new 

online course. She was a powerful and essential connection for me.


Over about a year, we healed me. It was deep and very personal. I often felt like she

was taking my hand and leading me back from the underworld, but she did not let go or look back,

as so often happens in the stories.


Healing is allowing me to go deeper with the trees. Meeting trees and deepening my connections has become central

as this is such a mind-boggling, heart-opening experience. Trees know us and what we need to be awake and vital. 

I am being transformed at a core and probably cellular level. I am in awe of these experiences. 

It is such a joy to share this and to see others (you!) feel this life-changing connection.


What a journey! Who knew?