Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nesting Before Flight

My son Adam, as he was lifting one end of my huge, heavy sofa bed out of the U-haul said to me:

"Mom, I hope your next house is the house I'll bring your grandchildren to visit you."

Of course it won't be. I am not like most of my family. I am like my dad's sister, Wanda. My mom used to joke that she wrote my Aunt Wanda's phone number in pencil rather than pen in her address book. (I think those books are all but obsolete these days.) I used to get excited to see what new, great apartment she had found. One of my favorites was a loft-like place; there was one big bedroom upstairs that overlooked the living room and as a young girl I thought that was so cool. I'm sure her brothers were not as impressed with the floor plans. In fact, I'm sure they thought she was a bit flighty for moving around so much, but I understand. She is flighty and so am I . . . if flighty refers to birds.

You see, I have realized that, although there are many different types of people in this world, we can be put into two major categories: trees and birds. Of the trees there are many kinds: oaks, figs, olive, apple, maple, lemon, palm, weeping willow, pine, etc . . . . Of the birds there are many kinds: doves, ravens, owls, chickens, eagles, hawks, peacocks, sparrow, crow, etc . . . I have come to learn that I am a bird like my Aunt Wanda. I am still discovering what kind of bird I am.

Trees root, for they need to root deeply if they are to survive and thrive. Trees depend on their location - rain to supply water and soil to supply nourishment. They have all they need within their reach. Occasionally, trees may uproot and move to another location. But there is always a plan, a time-line and they re-root quickly. I love trees and I have great respect for their strength and beauty in their constancy. They teach us that we each have an important part in an intricate system, even though we may not be able to see the entirety of the forest beyond us. Trees provide shelter for birds to nest and take rest. Trees provide fruit for birds to eat. Trees bend allowing the wind to pass by. Sometimes they break under the stress of the storm. But, even a dead tree gives. It either remains a skeletal sculpture of art against the horizon or it is lumbered for many other uses. Trees represent life . . . the tree of life.
Psalm 1:3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

And then there are the birds. Birds are creatures of flight. Occasionally gliding effortlessly through the air while resting their wings . . . going with the flow of the breeze. . . riding on the wings of something much bigger - faith. There comes many a time when birds must use every bit of stored energy to fly against the wind, to weather the storms, to watch for predators, to look for shelter. A bird's life is both agile and fragile at the same time. They build their nests, raise their young, teach their young to fly off and be independent . . . and then they migrate - fly off to a new, sometimes sunnier location and nest again. Birds provide stories for trees to hold onto. Birds are scouts. Birds are messengers - for it was a bird, first a raven, then a dove, that Noah sent out to check if the storm had passed. Birds remind us to keep the faith. Birds represent the big picture. Birds are watched.
Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them . . .

Trees root. Birds nest. I always tried to be a tree, thought of myself as an oak, but I discovered I am a bird . . . I am somewhere between a blue jay and a crow
And I am finally at peace with that.

Photo image by: Russ Hansen

A note of interest: Birds should never own sofa beds. Sofa beds should never be uprooted!

After writing this, I did some research on the internet and came up with some fun ideas about my Tree/Bird theory . . .


Blackbird - Understanding energies of mother earth, insight, vitality
Bluebird - Modesty, confidence, happiness, plaintive song
Blue Jay - Proper use of power, adaptability, fearless, resoursefullness
Canary - Power of song, voice, sensitive
Cardinal - Vitality, recognizing self importance, camouflage
Crow - Mystic, secret magic of creation, intelligence
Dove - Feminine energies of peace, maturity, maternity, prophecy
Duck - Emotional comfort and protection, affection
Eagle - Illumination of spirit, healing, creation, spiritual power, vision, wisdom, connection with the divine
Finch - Song, energy of variety and multiplicity
Flicker - New rhythm of growth and healing power, love, balance
Goldfinch - Awakening to the nature spirits
Goose - Vision quest, travel, new adventure, fertility, communication
Grouse - Sacred dancing & drumming, creation, energy, protective
Hawk - Visionary power, guardian, messenger, leads to lifeƕs purpose
Heron - Aggressive self determination and self reliance, balance, wisdom
Hummingbird - Tireless joy and happiness, the nectar of life, healing, strength
Magpie - Proper use of intelligence, occult knowledge, adaptability
Meadowlark - Cheerful journey inward, sublimation, imagination, courageous
Mockingbird - Finding your sacred songs, recognition of your innate abilities
Owl - Mystery of magic, omens, silent wisdom, visions
Parrot - Sunshine and color healing, mimics
Peacock - Resurrection, watchfulness, protective, wisdom
Penguin - Lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, creative energy
Pheasant - Family, fertility and sexuality
Pigeon - Return to the love & security of home, fertility
Quail - Group nourishment and protection, ability, fertility, spot danger
Raven - Magic, creation, shape shifting, vocalizing, playfulness
Road Runner - Mental speed and agility, running
Robin - Spread of new growth, song energy
Sparrow - Awakening, triumph of common nobility, ability to multiply
Stork - Birth and unspoken communication, dance, protective
Swallow - Protection & warmth for home & proper perspective
Swan - True beauty, sensitive, powerful, grace
Turkey - Shared blessings, harvest, energy, sharing
Vulture - Purification, death, rebirth, new vision
Waxwing - Gentleness and courtesy, polite
Woodpecker - Power of rhythm and discrimination, new inner rhythms
Wren - Resourcefulness and boldness, medicine for own environment

What Tree Did You Fall From?

Find your birthday and its corresponding tree.
Then, see the meaning behind it below. Do you recognize yourself?

Dec 23 to Jan 01 Apple Tree
Jan 02 to Jan 11 Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 Lime Tree
Mar 21 Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 Fig Tree
Jun 24 Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 Lime Tree
Sep 23 Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 Hornbeam Tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 Fig Tree
Dec 22 Beech Tree

APPLE TREE (the Love) - of slight build, lots of charm, appeal, and attraction, pleasant aura, flirtatious, adventurous, sensitive, always in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, scientific talents, lives for today, a carefree philosopher with imagination.

ASH TREE (the Ambition) - uncommonly attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be egotistic, very reliable and trustworthy, faithful and prudent lover, sometimes brains rule over the heart, but takes partnership very seriously.

BEECH TREE (the Creative) - has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.)

BIRCH TREE (the inspiration) - vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

CEDAR TREE (the Confidence) - of rare beauty, knows how to adapt, likes luxury, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, determined, impatient, likes to impress others, many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waiting for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

CHESTNUT TREE (the Honesty) - of unusual beauty, does not want to impress, well-developed sense of justice, vivacious, interested, a born diplomat, but irritates easily and sensitive in company, often due to a lack of self confidence, acts sometimes superior, feels not understood loves only once, has difficulties in finding a partner.

CYPRESS TREE (the Faithfulness) - strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give, content, optimistic, craves money and acknowledgment, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered, unruly, pedantic, and careless.

ELM TREE (the Noble-mindedness) - pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.

FIG TREE (the Sensibility) - very strong, a bit self-willed, independent, does not allow contradiction or arguments, loves life, its family, children and animals, a bit of a social butterfly, good sense of humor, likes idleness and laziness, of practical talent and intelligence.

FIR TREE (the Mysterious) - extraordinary taste, dignity, sophisticated, loves anything beautiful, moody, stubborn, tends to egoism but cares for those close to them, rather modest, very ambitious, talented, industrious, discontented lover, many friends, many foes, very reliable.

HAZELNUT TREE (the Extraordinary) - charming, undemanding, very understanding, knows how to make an impression, active fighter for social cause, popular, moody, and capricious lover, honest, and tolerant partner, precise sense of judgment.

HORNBEAM TREE (the Good Taste) - of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.

LIME TREE (the Doubt) - accepts what life dishes out in a composed way, hates fighting, stress, and labor, dislikes laziness and idleness, soft and relenting, makes sacrifices for friends, many talents but not tenacious enough to make them blossom, often wailing and complaining, very jealous but loyal.

MAPLE TREE (Independence of Mind) - no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

OAK TREE (the Brave) - robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.

OLIVE TREE (the Wisdom) - loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

PINE TREE (the Particular) - loves agreeable company, very robust, knows how to make life comfortable, very active, natural, good companion, but seldom friendly, falls easily in love but its passion burns out quickly, gives up easily, everything disappointments until it finds its ideal, trustworthy, practical.

POPLAR TREE (the Uncertainty) - looks very decorative, not very self-confident, only courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

ROWAN TREE (the Sensitivity) - full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

WALNUT TREE (the Passion) - unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromise.

WEEPING WILLOW (the Melancholy) - beautiful but full of melancholy, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful and tasteful, loves to travel, dreamer, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with, demanding, good intuition, suffers in love but finds sometimes an anchoring partner.

Celtic tree meanings

The Rowan
Protects against enchantment. Magical Associations: Healing, personal empowerment, divination.

The Ash

of the Ogham alphabet is the Cosmic Ash, or World Tree. Magical Associations: Prosperity, protection, healing.

The Alder

magical associations: Spirituality, teaching, weather magic, duty, mental prowess.

The Willow

in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. Magickal Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.


Magical Associations: Fertility, peace, prosperity, binding.


Magical Associations: All positive purposes, magic for men, fidelity.

The Holly

symbolizes paternity and fatherhood, has always been regarded as a potent life symbol. Magical Associations: Protection, prophecy, magic for animals, sex magic.


Salmon are associated with the Hazel in Irish legend. The Hazel is also strongly associated with meditation and mediation. Magical Associations: Manifestation, spirit contact, protection, fertility.

The Vine

Magical Associations: Fertility, inspiration, prosperity, binding.

The Ivy

puts you in touch with your own inner resources, giving you the ability to see through the eyes of the soul beyond the everyday world. Magical Associations: Healing, protection, cooperation, exorcism


Magical Associations: Fertility, protection, love, family concerns.

The Elder

is linked to the eternal turnings of life and death, birth and rebirth. Magickal Associations: Exorcism, prosperity, banishing, healing.

The Birch

This tree starts the Celtic tree calendar, and so represents the energies associated with new beginnings. Magical Associations: Protection of children, purification, creation.

What kind of bird are you?


Like the wise owl, you are a night person and love knowledge.

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Ok, so maybe I just don't know what kind of bird I truly am!


eric1313 said...

I'm a willow tree. And it's right on in the description.

Traditional and celtic.

What an insightful post, all the way around.

Those sofa sleepers are so heavy, and they never get used. I'd rather sleep on the floor, personally. Or just a couch. But, you never know. They're a sign that their owner is flexible to demands, I guess. Ready for anything.

But they're so damn heavy!

Anyway, good luck with the move. Keep in touch.

Michelle's Spell said...

I'm not surprised to find out that I'm a poplar tree, the uncertainty! It makes total sense. Good luck with the move -- I love your story about your Aunt Wanda. I think there's always a family member or a friend of our parents we identify with that gives us a life path.

Erik Donald France said...

Good luck with the moving process, Lindy -- Bon voyage!

Trees -- watch out for wildfires and lumberjacks

Birds -- watch out for Dick Cheneys and hawkfaces.

People -- watch oit for backbiters & syndicators

realbigwings said...

Yay, fabulous post. I love how your posts go on journeys, following ideas. Many blessings to you during your transitions.
I don't know if i agree or not with my hornbeam tree description, but in the ogham tradition I think I'm an ivy.
I feel rooted in some ways, but i am definitely winged, adjusting to wind currents, working with weather. My last name is a hawk name in German; I also love owls.
~Interesting, Lindy. Thanks for sharing.

Stewart Sternberg said...

sigh...careful, this is the road to paganism. Next you'll be joining drum circles and giving thanks to faeries. Wait..I do the faerie thing, but that's different.

Bird....I guess identify with the Raven, but only with its dark side. And tree? One which has been struck by lightning.

We live in a time of transience. So...does this move mean we shan't be seeing you?

WendyB said...

I'm an apple tree, but neither scientific or carefree. I like to think I have tons of charm though ;-)