In our contemporary lives, who hasn't cried buckets over the pain or death of a loved one, and wished for healing or revival to occur? What interests me is the stirring of a long-lost ancestral memory, and a deeply-felt potential for magic. Perhaps one of our animist pre-colonial human abilities was to evoke healing or revival with our beautiful and sacred tears.
Does anyone know of any other myths, narratives or fairy tales that focus on this miracle? I would be very interested to hear from other sources. Last summer when my landlord cut down a beautiful young Poplar tree for no reason, within the hour I had also fallen to the ground, and was keening and sobbing at the site of this senseless murder. For me, each tree has a soul and a personality, and is the embodiment of natura - the perennial love and joy of the green world, freely given to all.
I mourn the loss of trees more than any other living being. So imagine my surprise when the next spring multiple shoots had sprung up around the base of the fallen tree. Of course this is a natural growth process that happens all the time, but what if (!!??) my tears, keening and deep grief contributed to the healing and revival of my beautiful kindred spirit the tree? How deep is the magic in our souls?
Joyce Anna Belle last spring my neighbors cut down a perfectly healthy, probably 75 year-old pine tree just because it "littered their yard with needles." I cried at the pointless loss.....later that evening I wandered over to the side fence and found the remnants of a new bird's nest.....the sobs that welled up came from such a deeply primal place as I carried the nest and small stray bough to place on my altar.....where it sits and is honored still. I completely understand your love of trees - they have shown me so much, and taught me so many nameless things.
Arielle Kaph I had a tree out in my backyard. I’d sit outside often. The tree started singing. Like whale songs but woody. Then the same tree species in the next door neighbour’s backyard started singing too. They’d sing back and forth to each other for about two weeks. Then suddenly there was an enormous crash sound. I ran out - the tree had fallen over taking out fences. It had died. I felt honored to be listening to the tree songs, as what they said I don’t know. I cried, it was such an incredible experience, one I don’t think I will ever experience again. But I will never forget them singing to each other. Bless.
Nathalie Frickey In "The Miller's Daughter" she weeps over her amputated hands so they are cleaned, and the devil cannot take her. And in a version of Rapunzel she cries over the prince's blind eyes, and they heal. Those are the ones I can remember offhand. Interesting topic!
Pegi Eyers Thank you so much for these gems Nathalie Frickey ~! I have a huge interest in collecting narratives like these from now on.
Leilani Navar Yes, Rapunzel is who came to mind for me too. Your question is a deep one - can our grief heal someone? Bring new life? In the stories, tears restore what was lost, but in our day-to-day life, perhaps its more like this tree, that our tears are supporting the next birth.
Pegi Eyers is the author of "Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community," an award-winning book that explores strategies for intercultural competency, healing our relationships with Turtle Island First Nations, decolonization, recovering an ecocentric worldview, rewilding, creating a sustainable future and reclaiming peaceful co-existence in Earth Community.
Stone Circle Press