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Circle of Healing

Healing Trees Project
By Anne Wiesen

The Tree of Life is a universal symbol representing the diversity and interdependence of all forms of life. In many cultures trees are revered and respected not only for their ecological products and services, but also for the grace, strength, and tolerance they demonstrate through their service, and through their beauty.

The Healing Trees Project is focused on the power of trees to mirror human emotions, bring inspiration to our lives, and hold the meaning of events in our communities. The purpose of the project is to encourage us all to consider trees in new and creative ways, invite them into our communities, and appreciate their contributions to the enrichment of our lives. In this project, we are selecting aspects of the individual and community healing processes that have been demonstrated across the globe in response to the trauma of September 11. We are associating these aspects of healing symbolically with tree families that in a striking way, embody the essence of each stage.

Certainly there are historical and legendary examples of the association of trees with human life struggles and celebrations. Our intention here is to demonstrate how personal stories about trees in our lives, what we know about them, how they have served an important role in our lives, can lead us to plant, respect and care for them more profoundly. The Healing Tree Circle is about our collective response to September 11. It is just a beginning. Please use this demonstration to develop your own stories and meanings, based on your individual and community experiences. And let the trees hold the meaning of your narrative.

Circle of Healing

Because healing is not a linear process, the aspects of healing and associated trees are represented as a circle of healing. Stages of healing are continually revisited, however, the experience of each stage will change over time, as we change and heal, over time. It is our vision that progressive visits to the healing trees will bring progressive healing to our minds, hearts, spirit and hopes.