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Mantra for the Moment


Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker


As I walked through the forest, I felt a oneness with all. New blades of emerald grass reached up to the heavens in prayer. I heard the pleasant crunching sound of dry leaves as two silver squirrels played a game of hide and seek. In front of me, a cardinal settled on a branch in a hickory tree and dazzled me with his redness and song. An old truck puttered down the road nearby. All the sounds I heard were like my mantra for the moment. Sound therapy orchestrated by nature, just for me.

I appreciated the tranquility of the trees around me. Like human beings, the trees were alive, but unlike many humans these days, the trees were peaceful and uncomplicated. No confusion, anger, anxiety or blame. No greed, guilt or jealousy. Simplicity. Simplicity at its best.

I would've just been content to admire and bask in the wonderful qualities of the trees, but they even gave me a gift.

I felt the trees appreciating me for being aware, for appreciating what they naturally radiate, as if we were secret members of a mutual admiration society. I felt them quietly say, "Finally! We have been waiting so long for someone to recognize our true nature. We are delighted."

The trees rooted a deeper sense of peacefulness in my nervous system, right down to my core.

Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker

A lightbulb went off inside me and inside the trees as well. We woke up together. I learned that by me being aware of the glory of the trees, they could know it, for themselves, through me. I became the eyes and the ears for the trees, so they could perceive through me. I was infinitely connected to them on the level of unity. Their experience was my experience and my experience was their experience. They marveled at how I could walk and move about so freely. I marveled at how they could stay present and still, decade after decade.

I looked at the hundreds of trees surrounding me. Each one a cherished family member. Each one in its own way contributed to the silence that we experienced together.

I felt as if I had been given the best of boons. And yet the trees indicated they had received. It was impossible to tell where the giving and receiving began and ended, for it was a mutual endowment and delight.

I became aware of God in the trees and God appreciating me from within the trees. I became aware of the God in me, seeing through my eyes and knowing the silence within and without.

I sauntered along with my awareness including the hundreds of godly trees around me and beyond. Lost and found in the beauty of it all. My mantra for the moment.

Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker


  • Lovely artwork. Both in pictures and in life. My compliments.

    Don Simmons
  • Thank you for expressing your passions. I’ve recognized over the years how people experience God in their own unique way. To see how you experience God through your art and poetry fills my heart, as you are developing those gifts you were born with.

    The challenge, as I have learned, is to recognize our own frailties, and know that all of these negative feelings are coming up to recognize, without judging ourselves. The real trick then is to admit our frailties with no judgment. Much easier to connect with pure nature. The challenge is to connect with the judgement we have about ourselves, forgive ourselves. and let it go. Thank you for the opportunity to share with you.

    Cathleen Casey
  • The world is our family!

    Kay Michener
  • gorgeous words, gorgeous art, gorgeous experience..I have had a very similar experience and I appreciate your articulate and authentic reminder..we all bow down in reverence to each other..and yes, that includes the trees

    carol olicker

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