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The Tethered Tree Creates a New Shape and Rhythm

A tree tethering ceremony took place shortly after the winter solstice of 2021. The tethered ties changed by the hand of an anonymous participant who tied the ribbons to a fence in an extension of line, form, energy, and intention to create a new shape. The anonymous participant took The Shape of Me and created The Shape of We.

About a month ago, the tethers changed shape again in a way I could not anticipate. They were cut down. They were cut and removed. They were cut down in a way similar to the trees they were intended to honor. I felt grief as my body began to understand what had occurred... shoulder slump, chest cave, gut sunk.

It also struck me that the tree tethering was intended to be ephemeral. This tickling of twin energy radiated from my core. I didn't have a plan for de-installation, but I knew that the wind, sun, rain, creatures, or humans would eventually remove or wither the ribbons. The tethers remained intact much longer than I thought they would - for over 4 months. After the initial installation, I would visit the tree and bring tools to tighten and adjust the ribbons. Then one broke. I retied it in an attempt to force it to retain the intended shape I had delineated that traced the energy lines between the stumps of the cut elm community and the cottonwood that remained. Then another broke and flung itself in the branches of the cottonwood tree. The ribbons and the tree were teaching me by dancing with one another.

This healing-wounded cottonwood teaches me to honor infinite change rather than hold tightly to a shape as a static thing. She showed me that a shape holds an energy vibration that anticipates an impending shift into something new.

I stopped retying or tightening the ribbons. Several more broke and flung themselves into the branches of the tree through the winter. The tree bloomed and leaves erupted on her branches. She can only Be in her current shape, which simultaneously grows and changes into a new shape that honors what she has been and will become.

After I acknowledged the initial griefswell in discovering that the ribbons had been cut, the tickling of radiant joy filled me. I looked up at her branches and there were the ribbons that had broken over the weeks, fluttering in the wind. They had tethered themselves to the tree branches in their own shape and form. They continue to hold and caress the tree. Whomever cut the ribbons down was unable to remove the ones that had already broken.

Those that broke are the ones that remain. Those that sustain the wound are the ones who survive.

I will climb the tethered tree soon. She is no longer in a state of panic. She is asking me to climb her so we can be in communion and beauty with one another, and remember that We Belong in the shape that we are and the shape we are to Become.


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