You, Me, and Ross the Tree — Earth Invocation Catalyst Feature

image of sunlight filtering through the leaves on a tree

Written by PRATI Community

This article is a submission from the PRATI Community.

Earth Invocation Catalyst Feature – Emily Tucker, LPC

PRATI’s Earth Invocation Project is a collective poem created by our community to celebrate the gifts of nature. Our aim with this ongoing project is to help restore, reawaken, and honor our interrelationship with our living planet. We invite you to share your gratitude for the natural world by anonymously contributing to this poem here.

Along with our Earth Invocation, we invite volunteers to serve as “catalysts” for the project. Catalysts are individuals and organizations willing to  spread the word in their community about our collective poem and who are finding creative ways to reconnect with nature. Being a catalyst is a collaborative effort, and we love seeing the ways people are celebrating nature in their daily lives! 

Our community member Emily Tucker, LPC, is one such volunteer catalyst. One of the ways she is celebrating the earth is through her connection with her tree, whom she has named Ross. What follows is an essay written by Emily, and we hope that her story, and Ross, inspire you to be a catalyst in your corner of the world. If you’d like to share your own story of reconnecting to nature or get involved in the Earth Invocation Project, please get in touch

You, Me, and Ross the Tree — Together We Can Make a Difference

By Emily Tucker, LPC

Do you recall seeing the fascinating painting demonstration videos featuring Bob Ross? He would describe unintentional brush strokes as “ happy accidents” and trees were “happy little trees.” Bob Ross made painting a landscape or forest look easy and fun. In his honor, we have named a nearby tree “Ross.” Ross appears to be 35-40 feet tall and might be a father tree to a cluster of smaller trees and shrubs in an area in front of our home. We believe Ross belongs to the Poplar tree family and I hope to learn more about him as he blooms in the Spring.  

Ross resides in Calera, Alabama near a forest that is home to many trees, grasses, and wildflowers. This forest is also home to many animals including owls, foxes, frogs, opossums, armadillos, raccoons, and a variety of birds. I visit Ross’ extended family daily as I walk my dogs in this amazing forest.

Ross towers over his own unique ecosystem consisting of tree, rock, pine, and numerous shrubs. Ross graciously supports at least two mockingbird nests with his strong and elaborate branches. Taller than many of the surrounding trees, Ross provides much-needed shade in the summer months. 

image of sunlight coming through the leaves on a tree
With so much to offer, this lovely tree gives freely, offering shade, shelter, and supporting the surrounding plants and trees, asking nothing in return. When I learned of The Tree Project, a unique  opportunity to participate in research exploring the rich inner experience and communication of trees, I quickly applied and was honored when Ross was accepted. Volunteering to take part in the Heartmath Tree Project, I have reconnected with nature. 

An unexpected benefit of joining the project, I feel like I’m reconnecting with a long-lost member of my family. Rediscovering the magic and beauty of the here and now has been a gift. The Heartmath Tree Project has instilled a sense of appreciation and wonder for all that nature is. I find myself feeling more connected and grateful overall. The Tree Project has helped me realize that my connection to nature had not been lost entirely. The connection was always there. I just needed to see this with clarity. 

Monitoring Ross’s Vital Signs

Ross’ story is in a way just beginning. We have new insights about his story after he allowed us to attach some pretty sophisticated equipment that will monitor his energy and vital signs as part of the worldwide Tree Project. The tree project is tracking energy signals and other information about trees like Ross all over the world. When I learned that Ross had this opportunity, I was excited to be able to help. Although Ross does most of the work, I want to help the cause as well.

image of a tree with a heartmath sensor

I am learning more about what I can do to share this exciting news and awe. I am welcoming new motivation and I have started prioritizing the small steps I can take that may help make a big impact moving forward. As a thank you to Ross and fellow tree communities, I am committing to taking daily walks in the woods with the intention of picking up and properly disposing of any man-made trash.

 I will also continue sharing with you any developments on Ross’s journey in the Tree Project. Ross may be telling our human community more about how trees respond to large-scale events both near and far. The data collected will be assessed along with data from hundreds of trees around the world.

Will You Join Me and Honor a Tree or Wonder of Nature in Your Immediate Surroundings?

Thanks for letting me share this magic with you today. Thank you for considering ways to honor nature in your community. I would love to join forces with all nature-awareness catalysts near and far. As individuals, we can collaborate and join forces as communities. You can start your own collaborative journey featuring your favorite ways of connecting to nature! 

By taking time to honor the sacred nature of our Earth, we will honor our truth and wisdom within. Try this brief mindful moment as a way to honor yourself and the environment. 

I Invite You… to Right Now: Stop Reading, Stop Scrolling

Take a deep breath and step outside. Leave the phone behind. Look up, look down, and look around. Breathe in the oxygen-filled air and notice what you feel is a recognition of the life-sustaining oxygen and your breath. Remembering this crucial interdependent relationship, what do you notice in your body? Are you experiencing gratitude or curiosity? Can you recall a pleasant memory involving nature?

Try thanking the Earth, the flowers, the trees, or the grass for the good feeling and memories, for the life-sustaining oxygen. Breathe in with gratitude and exhale with appreciation. Sit for a moment with whatever you notice during this activity. After thanking yourself for this appreciation, jot down any thoughts or feelings that accompany your experience. Try this for seven days and see what happens. Thanks for being here and for all you do. 


Become an Earth Invocation Project Catalyst 

We are grateful for Emily’s generosity in sharing her story, and we are inspired by the creative ways she is reconnecting with nature and celebrating the earth’s gifts. Do you want to learn more about being an Earth Invocation Project Catalyst? Do you have similar practices to help connect you with nature? What are you doing to reawaken your relationship with the more-than-human world? Whether it’s trash clean up, nature prescriptions in your clinic, nature-focused book clubs, writing groups, or simply a commitment to pause and look out your window, we’d love to hear from you! 

Beautiful stories and ideas catalyze connection. If you have any stories about how you’re connecting with nature, or helping your patients or community on the journey of nature reconnection, please let us know!

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