Ancient treesDear Friends,

Perhaps some of you saw The Hidden Life of Trees review in Head Butler. I loved this book and it is the inspiration for the title Hidden Roots.

In the circle, people discover that despite superficial or even apparently deep differences we share hidden, human roots, a discovery which emerges only slowly, but unmistakably, when we listen deeply and share openly, the way trees (even of different species) share information and nutrients below ground, with less intention, but with no less purpose. We humans need to create the format to achieve the effect, while the trees are able to do so organically. Happily, after we have some practice with the format and principles of the circle, circle-like experiences come readily, even in casual encounters.

The circles have been surprisingly satisfying via video; I never would have guessed. Now of course they are also free to anyone of any gender, every Tuesday from 7-9 PM Eastern, with the Zoom meeting ID 790 3994 2682. Please sign up by email or text me for the password.

When we’re sitting in a circle, we often play a warm-up round called Rose, Bud, Thorn. I will give a time frame (in the last year, last week, on this day) and ask for a Rose (something good), a Thorn (bad), and a Bud (something one is looking forward to). In the Time of Corona we are gathering Corona Roses (good things which have happened because of corona), Deadheads (spent blossoms which we (not Corona) have snipped, to promote the renewal of fresh blooms, as a gardener would), and (as before) Buds: anything we’re looking forward to. People really enjoy Corona Roses, and although the game appears light-hearted, they appreciate the discernment one can bring.

Then we move on to the usual prompts, which are never usual. Or rather the prompts are (Tell a story about a time when you made someone laugh/did something shocking/understood your father/spoke up/sat down/gave up/played it cool/resisted) but the answers are, invariably, unique. And yet: despite the variety of responses, at the end of each circle, there is a great common understanding.

Please join me each Tuesday at 7 PM Eastern.

Yours truly,

Nina Planck Kaufelt