The Yule tree is always a conifer because evergreens survive the winter and they are a sign of hope and renewal.
I worked with a lovely Comanche elder for years and he told me the story about taking his children to gather cedar for ceremony. As the children watched, he asked the tree if he could have part of her dress. He said he needed a little of her cloak to help the people.
“Dad! Did you see that? The tree lowered its branch to you!” his daughter exclaimed.
I smiled and nodded knowingly. I was taught to honor the plants and trees that I gather medicine from and on more occasions than I could possibly recall, the plants move and respond to voice and request.
In the book, The Hidden Life of Trees; What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, the author forays into the scientific explanations and the mesmerizing experiences regarding trees communicating. Of course there is science behind everything regarding plants growing better to music and singing or trees lowering their branches to offer medicine, but in my work we don’t need to hear the scientific explanations, we just know. We see it.
This is a beautiful time of year to go for a walk, go hiking in the mountains, or around a trail in your park. There are less distractions and you can get to know an evergreen. You will find them quite jovial. When you say hello, it will move in a small area. Sometimes the whole thing shakes without the help of wind or breeze.
Real magic is all around us, beyond cubicles and meetings, beyond television and bills. It has always been there. We are heading to Taos for the weekend. And in the woods there and along the paths evergreens wish those that pass a Merry Yuletide.