I have become rather enchanted by a magnificent Beech tree I saw at the Geelong Botanical Gardens on Sunday.
Since my visit the tree has been entering my dreams. On Sunday night visions of it kept waking me up. At some point during the night I began thinking about the scientist, Suzanne Simard’s research into the way trees communicate with each other in a forest and how these communications stem from a ‘Mother Tree’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanne_Simard
I began wondering if Botanical Gardens can be classified as forests. If such places are forests they are forests which contain trees from all over the world. Could such a diverse and hybrid forest contain a Mother Tree? In my half awake state I decided that if there is a Mother Tree in the Geelong Botanical Gardens it would have to the Beech. The gardens were established in the 1850s and the tree was probably planted very early on. It is very tall and there is a plaque at the base stating the tree is on the National Trust Significant Tree register.
Images of the tree have been returning to me during odd moments since then. In my mind’s eye the top of the tree looks even more ethereal than it does in my photo and the tree itself has assumed a gentle, soothing energetic presence.
Intrigued by this I did some online reading. I was fascinated to learn the Beech is regarded as The Mother Tree is some cultures, both ancient and contemporary. In Japan a 400 year old Beech is considered the Mother of all Beech trees in that country. In Celtic Lore the Beech is called The Mother of the Woods. https://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-beech
The Beech also has long connection with writing. Paper and book covers have been made from the tree for centuries. The very first printed books were printed on Beech tree paper. Before that the bark of the Beech was used to write messages on. One legend has it that the Irish god Ogma, one of the Tuatha de Danaan, wrote the Ogham Alphabet on Beech bark.
For these reasons the tree has a symbolic connection writing, knowledge and creative expression. Because books can convey knowledge down through time the Beech has a symbolic link with the idea of bringing past knowledge into the present and on into the future. Developing this theme it is said that meditating beside a Beech tree enhances communication with one’s ancestors and ancestral knowledge.
dancing across my dreams
– ancestral wisdom