Widdershins collage #3
Widdershins collage #5

Widdershins collage #4

The Language of Trees by Terri Windling

The Language of Trees

The thing you need to know, child, is that trees do speak, they do tell tales, they sing when the've a mind to, they are gigglers, gossips, grumblers, cataloguing every ache and pain, and yet they hold no grudges, claim no debts, speak ill of no creature. They have their tempers, yes, trantrums of branches lashed in gusts and gales, but then they come to rest in stillness, spent, humming contentedly. You've heard them, child, just yesterday. You thought it was only the wind. The thing you need to know is that by dawn-light every tree stands tall and chants its name, its history, its kinship web and lineage. You've heard them, child, the rustle beneath the dawn chorus of birds. The thing you need to know is that the trees tell stories older than the oldest tales of humankind -- by dusk, by night, by starlight, you have heard their midnight murmuring. You told me so. You thought it was just water running in the stream. The thing you need to know, child, is that trees do speak, in their own language. They mutter with the crackle of old brown leaves, they sigh with the snow drifiting at their feet, they utter exquisite arboreal poems as each tender new leaf unfurls, they laugh in shivers of green and gold tickled by the passing breeze. The thing you need to know, child, is that trees do speak, in the tree language. And yes, you will understand their speech one day, root child, sweet sapling.

Work table

Collage detail by Terri Windling

Bits & bobs

Drawing detail

Collage materials

Framed collage in my studio, prior to the exhibition

The language of trees


Leaves & threads

Can you hear them?

This post was composed on 8/27, & set up for automated posting on 9/1. I'll be back on-line on 9/5.


I love this! So so gorgeous. Is the writing yours? it's so lovely.

Oh happy sigh.......

How I wish that someone had read such, to me, when I was a child.

I don't remember anything magical, from my childhood. Don't think religion would have allowed such. Harrrumph...

But! But! But! No religion can keep it from me now! ,-)))) And even at 79, I can go about soaking up all the magic I can find. So there!!!!!

Thank you.

Luna Crone

You are an artist, painting with words as well as the three dimensional materials! Thanks so much for the lovely blessing of a story from the trees.

this is lovely

This is simply beauty-filled... I'm learning the language of ALL the trees around our new garden and in the village - they are many and various, ancient and recently planted - and I love each and every one :D

The words on this one...straight to to my heart. I will stop and listen to the trees today.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful collages, they express everything I love about your blog: inspirational words, lovely art and drawings, and a wonderful spirituality that shines through.
I live on the edge of a wood and trees have always been special to me so the Language of Trees went straight to my heart too...

I'm going to lie down beneath the trees in my garden, where the redbud, witch hazel, and Japanese maple meet beside the mountain hemlock, and listen.

I'm so glad the trees are whispering to you all.

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