When I turned 50, I stopped coloring my hair and began talking to trees. I am not kidding. Yes, I talk to trees. On one particularly gray winter day, while I was driving home, I noticed a line of trees along the far side of a field. It was the middle of winter and what seemed like an eternal succession gray days. Everything seemed ugly. I looked at the bare trees and thought, “If there is a divine force behind nature, why is creation so ugly?” I felt as dim as winter. My perception was askew.
The next morning I donned my long underwear, dressed in lots of layers and headed out for a walk in fresh snow. The snow was crunchy under my boots. I loved the sound. It made walking in the cold seem worthwhile. I noticed many trees, like me, they were silently waiting for spring. I saw pruned trees, and trees with limbs left broken and jagged by storms. New shoots grew from their injuries, carefully weaving their way around larger branches, reaching upward toward the light. Each tree was as unique as the flakes of snow collecting on my hat and coat. I felt each tree's struggle and need for nourishment, and light. I could relate to them. No one was around, so I walked up to one of them, gently touched its trunk and said, “Hello.