From Thomas Moore’s Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life:
“Every patch of ground that has a tree growing in it echoes Eden and is a reminder of our origins in an enchanted garden. Once we stop taking trees literally, we begin to see how they frame the world we look at every minute of our outdoor life… Eden is always with us, unless and until we narrow our vision, forgetting myth and disregarding aesthetic perception, and the trees of Eden are also always with us, full of mystery and implication.”*
Trees are central, in so many ways, to our lives. We know that they provide oxygen, and soak up CO2… its like we breathe with the plants of the world, we breathe out as they breathe in, they breathe out and we breathe in.
And trees are especially special, not only for their fruit and their wood, their shelter and their roots holding the earth together, but also for their presence. As Thomas Moore begins to say in the quote above, trees hold a special place in our mythologies, stories and hearts.
This is the time of year where many people decorate trees, or make Barbara Twigs, or burn Yule Logs, honouring trees even in our consumer-orientated lives. If we can do this mindfully, and not simply out of habit, then the act of choosing and decorating a tree can be enchanting… and the trees which sparkle with snow and fairy lights in the dark winter nights certainly enchant me!
The decorating of space for festivals, like Yule, Christmas, Halloween and even birthdays, is a way of bringing enchantment into our homes. We change the space to reflect the energy we choose to invite into our homes. Connecting with trees orientates us in the world, reminds us of the World Tree (present in most, if not all, cultures), and soothes our souls.
The hype of Christmas may be overwhelming, but the acts involved are all, in themselves, things we can take on board. Decorating our home with love and delight, connecting with trees, treating our time and space as time and space to celebrate in, all these are positive acts.
It is not just trees which we take too literally, our lives have drifted away from mythology, and it is the sense of layers, magic and wonder in a world with myth embedded in it that makes our hearts sing.
The many thoughts in this post, then, unravel into one shining question:
How can we reconnect with the magic in the world?
And a solution:
Remember that the whole world is ensouled, and allow ourselves to be enchanted by it. Start with trees, trees which span the worlds, trees which are so much more than mere building materials.
Merry midwinter to you all. May we step back into the enchanted garden as the sun blesses our days with ever-more light!
I’ll be posting Pixie Kisses each week, if you’d like to subscribe to these suggestions for re-enchanting your life and to receive the occasional extra sparkle in your inbox which won’t be posted here, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Pixie Kisses’ in the subject line.
*Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, (Harper Collins, 1996) p22