Godmothering Jives with Tree Hugging

True Tree Hugging, Photo by BradensEye

Godmothering is a window to a soulful world. It customarily allows the depth of parenting’s creativity, play, curiosity and intellect without the daily rambunctiousness of heavy discipline. Being a godmother had afforded me a space to build my appreciation for sharing my life, especially in the case I’ve yet to have my own family. Mostly, godmothering transports my love of the world into another entity. It’s permission to breathe life into my own through connection with another I hope to help shape, teach truths, maybe supply guidance, laugh and learn with along many steps of her way. As a godmother, I am available as a friend, confidant, leader, cheerleader, adventurer, daredevil, creator, an average citizen, and peacemaker alike. And, I’ve been cultivated from the best… godmother to me that is.

Looking back, I’ve often teased that my parents purposefully challenged me as their firstborn by gifting me a miraculous German godmother and my sister a special Jewish godmother. Wherever your faith or leanings may bend, I hope you notice the sly and wry tastebuds this fruit came to bear in moments. No ironies left unturned in my family unit. It might be a silly comment, but it took me a good few years to reason the bulk of presents arriving for my sister from her godmother, compared to the unique beauties from many miles away often arriving as “brown paper packages tied up with strings” from my godmother, were worth no comparison for me. Mine were indeed the most priceless and coveted troves for my years to come. In truth, there has been nothing less of excellence in my journey to becoming, but especially to understanding and becoming best friends with my godmother. I still brighten incredibly whenever Sound of Music’s songs crosses my paths, pointedly My Favorite Things.

Nature is a weave embedded deeply with my godmother and her family sharing trips with my family through the years. Zip lining through giant trees atop Waiblingen’s mountain hill behind their house, Easter egg hunting in the fields of Imberg, or sand dollars and sea turtles searching along the sands of a once-known tiny island called Capers off the coast of Beaufort, we would spend hours caught in the natural web of life together. My love of rocks is likely ingrained in all our ventures, as well the comfortable canopies of countless trees. We camped by and under trees. We made forts from pieces of trees. My ‘teachers’ still bring tree parts such as pinecones or birds nests in their homes as if jewels meant for a jewelry box. I was life-schooled by the most doting preservationists I would continue to come to know — my mother and my godmother. They are best friends and opened life as friendship to me equally. I believe friendship is the foundation for all successful relationships.

It is said that life imitates art. Well, life imitates life too. Here’s exactly where I think godmothering jives with tree hugging. Tree huggers in my sphere are known largely as positive, environmental loving and caring people. Trees are known to help soothe and support one’s nervous system as a regular practice of being around them. So much so there is the phenomena at the heights as tree bathing, for which Japanese forests are most well known. The actuality of hugging a tree has translated to scientific where it’s known to help quench mental illness and depression. Nature walks are much of the core of parks, trails, and lands around the world. Godmothering features as tree hugging through all the confidence, protection, fostering mindfulness, plus spirited play in their midst. Trees pass their roots, their seeds of goodness, their livelihood from one to another. They often safeguard those around them. Herein lies the core of godmothering. One as godmother grows and strengthens that goddaughter with whom she has been chosen to honor with her life wisdom.Trees are godmothering one another and us in energetic unison as harmonically as we godmothers are with our goddaughters.

In 2005 I became a godmother to a best friends first and only daughter. Even her name, Lily, matched the beauty of creation. Every macrocosm of space we’ve touched together brings me the same joy I’ve encountered with my godmother. We ramble along the creek bed outside her home, trying to step only upon the stones and save our shoes from being doused with water. We peer over the Pacific’s tall cliffside watching the seals sunbathing below. We walk the family dog to the park and manage to get him down the jungle gym slide with her a few times. We stay up late in the eve with her mom watching romantic dramas about horse ranchers or single moms. We artistically draw names and signs for her bedroom door or walls. We paint our nails to enhance our glamour.

I’m known for hugging people when I meet them. It’s just ‘me’, and I really love an outstanding hug. With all the trees I’ve ever met, in all the world that I’ve traveled, I still think about hugging most of them along the way. May your jive with nature and the best bodies in your life drive you to more hugging. Do it for your well being in the least. Or just do it for the trees.

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