I would like to draw your attention to a very small and strange Christmas tree. It was picked off the street after the silly season when my partner noticed that the local florist was looking for people to adopt unloved trees, before they went to the tip. And so this tiny planty thing made its way to our home. Probably rather less than a foot in height, it was soon relegated to the garden where it grew slowly and almost unnoticed amidst the snowdrops, daffodils and wallflowers.Then at Easter something happened. I came across a pile of stuffed bunnies, fluffy creatures that had been given to us all over the years. The bunnies were placed on this shelf unit in the kitchen, which has been called everything from a shrine to a silly storage unit and here the fluffy rabbits swung through the skies, and cuddled up to chocolate covered eggs and a lovely card or two. The Christmas tree was also introduced to the entire proceedings, and renamed the Easter tree where a load of dolls-house sized eggs and bunnies crawled all over it. Happily Easter, unlike Christmas doesn’t go on and on, so the bunnies and chocolate were swiftly despatched… but the tree stayed on, because something very strange had happened to it. It had acquired an entirely new personality, a new way of growing, a new shape… but how? It had been noticed, it had been lovingly watered, it had been admired.
The attention to the tree resulted in the emergence of something almost unrecognisable. The very spirit of the tree has changed with love and attention. New growth sprouted in days, new growth that was entirely different to the previous dark pine needles in terms of colour, texture and growth pattern. The new branches were soft, fluffy and green, and emerged in an entirely different way to that of the tree in its native garden habitat. Under our very eyes the tree seemed to be competing with the bunnies for sheer fluffiness. Even the new branches that came with the new growth were so spectacularly unlike anything before, it was quite breath-taking… the branches grow upward in a sort of optimistic “yeah” resembling a crowd of happy revellers throwing up their arms in joy as opposed to a slightly droopy fir dozing in a boring plastic flower pot.
I know quite a bit about the effect of intention on living matter. Milk can be asked to go sour at a slower rate, plants are known to flourish with love, and even in our own garden we have seen wayward plants from our neighbours seeking sanctuary away from pounding footballs, spraying cats and general lack of love. But I have never seen such an obvious change in the appearance and character of a life form in such a short time. There is no doubt that we can, with love, attention, and enthusiasm bring out the beauty and life force in plants and flowers and all living things just by thought and awareness, and a bit of chit-chat. Maybe we can bring about change in non living things too. It’s all about intention.