Photo by Andreea Fagetan, Shropshire 2015

There once was a girl with long green hair. She liked to travel, sometimes by foot, and sometimes with her heart and mind. In her journeys, she connected to her inner world and wise beings who shared their knowledge with her; this helped her to discover herself. This story is about one of those journeys.

She loved trees. One of her best friends was a tall maple tree from the forest close to her house. They first met when the girl was little, one day when she was picking up mushrooms in the forest with her mum. She was chasing a squirrel and got lost; the tree kept her company with one of his magical stories until her mum found her. Since then, their friendship grew stronger every day.

The tree was a great storyteller; the girl used to listen to his stories with such curiosity and delight that sometimes she didn’t want to go home. She dreamed of being a tree and spending the rest of her life in the forest with her friend because it was there that she felt most free and alive.

“I don’t like being a human,” said the girl to the tree one day as she was lying in the grass, admiring his beautiful tall branches. “I wish I was a tree just like you” continued the girl with a sad voice.

“Do you? What do you think it’s so great about being a tree?” asked the tree smiling.

“Well, you get to spend all your time in this beautiful and peaceful place. You can just be you, and no one is trying to change you into something that you are not. Nothing can hurt you here” said the girl.

“Yes, I get to live in this beautiful place, but it doesn’t mean that nothing can hurt me,” said the tree. “There are many things that you don’t know yet, my dear. What I would like you to know right now, is that you are more like me than you think” continued the tree.

“Really?” screamed the girl happily.

“Yes” chuckled the tree. “You might find it hard to imagine, but a long time ago, I was a young sapling starting its journey through life like you are now. My trunk was more like a twig at that time, and my roots were very thin and fragile. There were many times when I thought I might not make it, especially when storms came about. I sometimes believed that the wind and the heavy rain were determined to break me, but I was wrong. In time I started to realise that I couldn’t control the wind, it has a bit of a temper; same with the rain, it can get a bit mood sometimes and become heavy. Instead, I learned to see the storm for what it is: it might cause destruction, but it also brings growth. The water from the rain helped my roots become stronger, which made my trunk more solid in time and my branches grow taller. The wind carries my seeds for miles and miles away, and it’s like this that other trees can get to grow in places they didn’t even think was possible. I learned that the storms will always be there, so I might as well learn to weather them” continued the tree.

Painting: Andreea Fagetan, July 2019

The girl looked lost in her thoughts. “I can’t imagine you ever being a fragile sapling,” said the girl.

“It was such a long time ago, that it almost feels like a dream,” said the tree laughing.

“So, how is that connected with me being like you?” asked the girl.

“Throughout your life, there might be times when you’ll have to deal with your storms, my little sapling, just like I did. But your storms will be more like painful experiences that could feel out of your control and overwhelming. Allow yourself to feel angry or sad when they happen, but don’t let those experiences break you or define you. Just like me, hang in there and pick yourself up when you are ready, again and again. Find out what you can use from that storm to help you grow and move forward. Once you learn to weather the storms, you will begin to stand tall, be proud of what you have overcome and who you have become; just like I am now with my strong roots and trunk. You will start to understand that the only thing you can control in life is how you react to things. You are the one who can create your life through the choices that you make and by dreaming higher than you ever thought was possible. Just like my branches grow taller towards the sky, so will you start to reach higher for your full potential.”

Painting: Andreea Fagetan, July 2019

“That sound a bit scary but feels nice at the same time,” said the girl smiling and she gave the tree a hug.

“That’s good” said the tree smiling.

Years went by, and the girl with the green gair grew up. One day after saying goodbye to her friend, she moved to another world, far away. The storms came and went in the girl’s life; the tree’s words stayed with her and gave her strength to go on every time. The girl became stronger and discovered herself through the storms, just as her friend told her. Quite a few more years have passed, and one day her maple tree friend came to her mind a lot; so, she decided to go back home and visit him, to thank him for the advice that helped her weather the storms.

When she got to the forest, all she could find of him were his roots and a big chunk of his lower trunk. At that moment, the girl felt that her heart shattered into a million pieces. She fell to the ground and started crying while resting her head on the tree stump. As she was tracing the rings of the tree stump with her fingers, she wondered how humans could be so cruel; then she realised that not all people could talk to trees, and that made her sad. It was at that moment that she decided to travel the world and to tell people about what it’s like to talk and listen with the heart.

Talking to trees, or any other beings that don’t have a human voice, is not just for children or special humans; anyone can do that, even you. To be able to do that, all you need is to connect with that magical world inside of you, where anything is possible. You already have the key to that place, the key is your imagination, which you were born with, but you just forgot how to use it. In that inner world, you can connect to guidance from beings who have been roaming the earth long before you were even born. These beings might not speak the language of your mind, but they speak the universal language of the soul because that is how we are all connected after all. The more hidden that magical place inside of you stays, the more the outer world around you disappears.

Open your heart and start to listen…

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