Can You See the Wood for the Trees? Merlin Can
We have a saying in English “you can’t see the wood for the trees.” It means that someone is so involved in the details of something that they can’t see what is important as a whole.
But what happens when a trained Druid like Merlin walks across a forest floor, can he see the wood, or does he see the trees? Or does he experience the woods so differently from us that we no longer have the words or the rituals to experience it as he does?
Merlin hears things, we don’t; he sees things, we don’t, and he feels things that we don’t know are there. There is also another difference between Merlin and us. He recognizes the multiplicity that is in nature and invokes the permission of the spirits and the winds of the place to be there. Willow, a Druid in A Darker Magic This Way Comes, begins his Invocation this way: “We call on the angels of the North, South, East, and West, we call on the winds of all directions, to open the door between the worlds.” Merlin will also call on nature spirits or angels or devas, and he will summon the four winds in precisely the same way as Willow whenever he entered a woodland. Once he gained their permission to enter their land Merlin would appreciate that he was trampling on their homes.
Do you remember the first noise Joe, Beth and Frannie heard when they entered the forest in Enid Blyton’s The Enchanted Wood? They listened to the trees going "wisha, wisha" as if their rustling leaves were speaking to one another. Merlin would never doubt that the trees were talking. In his world of the fifth century, Britannia, he hears trees talking but not because of rustling leaves. He listens to their chatter on their vast social network of communication that is transmitted through and along an underground grid of connected roots. These roots are like fine fiber cables that carry messages. Merlin can sense when the oak trees warn one another of fire danger because they smell smoke. He can tell when there is a disruption in their water supply and the trees are sharing nutrients with their children or their more extensive tree family. This language of the wood is called Wyed. It is a language of vibration, like ours but it is heard as a multiplicity of clicks, yelps, drums, groans, twitters, cries, pops, cracks, whistles, beats, moans, croaks, snaps, plops and sprays. And the sound of the natural world also includes the "wisha, wisha" that the characters of Enid Blyton heard.
Modern farming, tree felling, rampant deforestation as in the Amazon, road construction, transport systems, and modern cities have cut the links between the woods of the world. It is difficult for their proper social networks to remain connected today. Fortunately, people are listening to sacred teachers, far-seeing scientists and even reincarnated Druids and hear and understand their advocacy and are re-planting green swards to reconnect root systems. They can see the wood for the trees.
Nature speaks an international language. Try to experience the woods as Merlin did, seeing what is important as a whole and the earth will able to heal herself.