Today is Day 2 of my Mind Your Ps and Qs series – my contribution to the Write 31 Days blogging challenge – wherein I’m writing about pronoia, peace, and quiety. Pronoia is the philosophy that the world is conspiring to shower us all with blessings; quiety is calmness and serenity; and peace of course needs no definition.
I think poet/philosopher John O’Donohue was a brilliant proponent of pronoia. Consider this admonition of his:
“Why must we answer the call to awaken? Why must we follow the questions of our soul? Because it is through habitual, non-inquisitive living that we lose our sense of wonder. Because eventually, even the strangest or most magical things become absorbed into the routine of the daily mind with its steady geographies of endurance, anxiety, and contentment. Left to our own devices, curiosity dims and fear of the unknown binds us; we cling to the known. Only seldom does the haze lift, as we glimpse for a moment the amazing plentitude of being here in the heart of the greatest story ever told – our own lives.”
I’m an unabashed tree lover, and autumn certainly provides me, here in the Midwest, with ample opportunity to swoon in delight. First there’s the changing colors and then eventually the piles of crunchy leaves to amble through, and finally, seeing the trees in their bare-branched beauty as they prepare their own inward journey through the upcoming winter. Trees most definitely invite me into the sense of wonder O’Donohue believes is so necessary.
Years ago I came upon some words from Jen Delyth, Welsh artist and author, and they exponentially deepened my connection and exploration of the magic of trees. She holds that there is three-fold wisdom in trees – the leaf wisdom of change and ever releasing; the wisdom of the branches which is of growth and ever reaching; and the wisdom of the roots, which is of endurance and ever deepening.
Given the slightest bit of thought, the wisdom is obvious. But that’s exactly my point. There is so much wisdom, so much magic, so much beauty available if we only keep our eyes open. If we look. If we see. There is depth and change, whispers and shouts, and we only need to enter into dialog with our world and all the co-conspirators sharing this space and time with us. The trees, the wind blowing in the trees, the birds and squirrels nesting in the trees, the light shining on leaves, the kite wondering if the tree would be a good place to land. All of it. A conspiracy of blessings – proof positive of pronoia’s existence.
Part of my intention of this series is to share information and resources that pique your interest and curiosity and hopefully expand your own definition of pronoia. So with that in mind, here are some tree-y things worth exploring:
- TreeSisters is a global network of women intent on a global reforestation revolution.
- TreeWhispers is a lovely project initiated in 2000 by artists Pamela Paulsrud and the late Marilyn Sward, gathering round, handmade papers from participants around the world. Each piece of paper offers a memory of a tree or tree story. Do check it out, and you’ll be inspired to contribute as well.
- Tara Books Publishing, a commune of artists, writers and designers who produce handmade books in India. Their website is currently being reworked, but you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram and get a taste of what they’re about.The very first book I purchased from them years ago was The Night Life of Trees and I’m still over the moon in love with it. The art, done by members of Gond Tribe, is silk screened onto black handmade paper, and each tree is accompanied by a short folk tale. A book with so many things I love – folk tales, trees, gorgeous art, and handmade paper! They also sell sets of cards made with a number of the drawings of the trees in the book – here are a couple of them. Aren’t they wonderful?
If today you were going to go outside and whisper to a tree, what would you say? What would the tree say back? What other wonder have you discovered today? Are you ready to be an ambassador of pronoia? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.