28 August 2009

A friend told me that tree spirits have a name and we should befriend them because these spirits can either hurt or protect us. No wonder it is common to hear people whisper "tabi po" or "makikiraan po", filipino phrases that asks permission from earth-bound spirits that they are just passing by and does not mean any harm. One must utter these words when one goes on a camping trip to some forested areas or any places that earth spirits live.

When my older sister Luchie scheduled the trimming of our fruit trees last week, I heard the tree-trimmer and his assistant say the words with reverence. Tirso held the tree trunks briefly while saying the words and climbed the delicate branches effortlessly. Tirso finished the task in less time without any branches breaking or any ants biting him! This is not so when we hire our laundrywoman's kids to harvest the fruits on the trees. The branches break easily even when the kids are lighter in weight than the heavy Tirso. But in Tirso's hands, our trees had their trim in less time and all the leaves and twigs cleared and the backyard cleaned before noon time which is when the sun is at its hottest!

Our avocado tree Yvon and our chico tree Chicky will soon sprout more leaves and twigs now that the sun's rays are shining down on them all morning. Their heavy leaves used to shade our backyard and cover the organic earth where their roots are. This small area in our house is our small forest which is the favorite hunting place of our dogs. They share the place with our daily visitors: the birds, the bees, the ants, butterflies, dragonflies and ants! Every time Luchie would climb Chicky to get to our roof to clean, she would puff baby powder on Chicky to remove the ants and the place would smell like a baby!

I said "tabi po" to the trees when Tirso trimmed them. I also held the fallen leaves and chopped branches and felt their energies even when they were separated from the tree. It is much like the same energy you feel when people die or at the brink of death and their spirits roam in confusion. You calm the spirit and assure them that the sudden disconnection is a myth. We are always connected even without our physical self. And they must not forget this connection. The Oneness. In All of Us.

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