The outer path we take is public knowledge, but the path with heart is an inner one. The two come together when who we are that is seen in the world coincides with who we deeply are. As we grow wiser, we become aware that the important forks in the road are usually not about choices that will show up on any public record; they are decisions and struggles to do with choosing love or fear; anger or forgiveness; pride or humility. They are soul-shaping choices.
As strange as it may sound, it was in the fall and winter that I felt closest to my tree. Her spring beauty and summer fruit filled me with delight, but when the days began to grow cool and the leaves turned from darkest green to yellow, I could feel something deep and marvelously intimate begin to take place between us. And as fall turned to winter, this feeling of intimacy grew. With no bees humming among the blossoms, no birds fluttering from limb to limb, no leaves and cherries decorating her branches, my tree seemed to reveal herself to me in her purest form -- in her very essence. And when I embraced her and pressed my ear against her trunk, I could hear the silence that united us. And I knew that was sacred. (Choqosh Auh-Ho-Ho)