Virginia Elena Patrone

A journey into the woodland

Preamble notes

#1 Few years ago I was wondering about and wanted to understand better what is the time for a tree, and one of my question was: “how is a tree perceiving the time flow?”. Because, as we all imagine, trees don’t sense time like we do, they are literally living in their own world, they are eternal entities that don’t have the knowledge of life and death but they just experience it, in the same way they are growing roots or breaches: they do it in the very best way possible. Interestingly in trees’ world, the word mistake doesn’t exist: if a root find a big rock on his way while growing, it just grows around it, until it finds a free spot to keep going.

#2 Once I was on a sandy beach on the Blac sea, I was lying down looking at the light-blue very clear sky, white clouds and trees over my head: a delicate wind was shaking the leaves of the tree, and listening to the sound of their conjunct rhythmic movement I thought that this was the laugh of the tree: the tree was happy because I was there looking at him.

#3 One of the things that make me very happy is to hear birds singing: how can we believe that birds are just singing for themselves?

#4 All mushrooms are connected as well. The mushroom exists under the ground, and whenever she (the mushroom!) feels like to go out and be seen by people, she pops up! If you see two mushrooms of the same species -even far away form each other- in the same woodland, they are the expression of the same mushroom, which is huge and lives beneath the earth.

Dear tree, my friend tree.

Last week I went to visit a friend who lives near Cortona in a wonderful area in the centre of Italy. I felled in love whit a place called Castiglione del Lago, I was also thinking to move there (I am still on a journey, and I have no stable home yet) then for some reasons this is not going to happens now, but still I think that the place is so very beautiful. I would be happy there.

Anyway, while we were there, Dario, my dear friend, brought us to see his mother’s house, literally a self-built villa in a forest, just ten minutes away from where he lives. This experience was pretty interesting I must say, and his mother is a great woman who has huge knowledge about the place she lives in. Before even say hi to us, she started telling us about the forest she is living in: she said: “You think the forest is dead in this time of the year (winter), right? Well… this is not true at all. The forest is always alive.” And she accompanied us on a tour among the trees, making us discovery many information she got after years of living between them. One thing that I’ve learned that shacked my world is that threes are all connected. Fiammetta, Dario’s mother, told us that the entire forest, even the farthest trees among all, knew that we were coming, even before we actually enter the unpaved shadowy little street in the wood. Trees talk with each other (I knew this already since I took a Coursera course about communication between plants), but what she said is more deep, and goes way over the chemical signals that plant can actually exchange in case of danger (like under a bugs attach). Because trees can really help each other to survive, from the roots, the biggest and strongest tree nourishes the weak ones. In addition the entire forest is a alive being: while we were entering the woodland by car we saw a quite big and sweet bunny wondering around with no fear. Dario stopped the car for a minute so we could see it better, and he didn’t move. Of course, if we were going out of the car, he would have run away, but even the fact that we saw it is full of meanings: Fiametta said that the forest can perceive the type of people are entering in her land. If they are lousy and disrespectful people, she will lock up herself an nobody would be able to see anything as a protective mechanisms, but if sensitive, kind, respectful people enter in the wood, she will open herself, and allow the guests to participate and see the life of all the threes and animals sharing the same time and space.

This is actually something that made me think about us, the human gang. I actually feel the connection that flow beneath our lives, I know we all, including trees and animals, are part of the same family, and this is the reason why when I am in a natural environment I feel peaceful and fulfilled. Even now, while in a very noisy city like Rome (where I am temporary staying), listening to the birds singing makes me somehow very very happy. Because I know they are singing also for me.

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