I will be ready.
by Tania Carriere
August 2, 2020 - 6:57am

I am lingering in the memory of what it feels like to be held.

This time of physical distancing has felt cruel to me; I miss the feeling of someone leaning into me, and I into them, our synchronizing breath connecting us in a symbiotic heartbeat.

I read recently of neighbours who were tying beautiful red ribbons around large tree trunks to remind those of us sitting in longing that the trees are there, patiently waiting, if tree-hugging is your thing.

My love affair with trees started years ago as I stood at the base of a massive redwood tree in Jedediah Redwood State Park, surprised to find myself overwhelmed, first by awe and then by tenderness. Heeding a primal call, in a way that toddlers have mastered and adults have forgotten, I found myself stretching my arms wide and tipping forward in a full-bodied forward flop.

I leaned my full weight into her steady being, in the way a horse or dog will do, and immediately felt her reassurance.

My cheek on her soft bark, tears sprung to my eyes and I just stood, held in unconditional love. I could feel the hum of her energy; as clear as a heartbeat in a lover’s chest. Answers to unconscious questions, flooded through me as the feeling of calm and sanctuary took hold.

Even now when I think of her, I am mesmerized and reassured as I imagine her, bearing witness this Covid madness, firmly standing, gently swaying.

And while this memory doesn’t fully ease my loneliness, it does bring me to a new awareness of the soft, familiar ways that we communicate through touch. When the time comes, I want to be ready to reintroduce them into my life with intention.

For years I have envied the Italians as they walk through the square arm-in-arm, so now I will overcome my shyness and claim that bonded declaration of friendship for myself. The squeeze of the elbow of a co-worker in a “job well done” won’t be thrown away as hurried gesture, but an intentional moment of locking step in unified progress. I will infuse honour alongside familiarity as I greet family and friends in the circle of their arms. And as I extend my hand to a new acquaintance, I will be conscious that it is through my fingers that I transmit my pledge of trustworthiness and kindness.

I am making a touch reclamation list; I will be ready.

Until then I will sink further into my relationship with nature and all the ways that she is still willing to hold me. The lake gently caresses me in an embrace, the wind catches my shoulder blade and hurries me along, the grass tickles me…

and the trees still bear my weight.

I admit, I’m a little more self-conscious; it seems city people are a little surprised to witness people hugging trees. But every once in a while I catch the eye of someone who gives me a knowing smile, and has a red ribbon trailing from their back pocket.

have you ever truly been held?

In Celebration,


Bing Binghamon August 2, 2020 - 10:24pm

Thank you for that.....

Lindaon August 3, 2020 - 4:00am

This is a beautiful reminder that trees are living and breathing and so are we. Thank you.


Isn't it amazing that we forget what is so obvious in front of us? We are silly humans!

Emmaon August 3, 2020 - 4:28am

Beautifully said - I too miss those hugs; the love, the energy - that tender moment when we get to connect. It feels even more valuable after these months of physically holding back. I can’t wait to share a hug 😊

I'm with you Emma, it will be a special thing to hold those dear to me close to my heart. Until then, a few more trees will have to do!

Carol Carnicomon August 3, 2020 - 2:41pm

I am appreciating loving-tree moments also. Forest walks where we are camping are a time of being with tree family and friends, softening the waiting while not knowing when I'll get to see my kids and siblings. Most of my posts on Celebrate seem to be trees.🌿💚🌿

Morgineon August 4, 2020 - 12:39am

Some of my Most Amazing Tree Hugs have been in Northern California stopped to hug the Redwood trees. For over a decade we created and made collectible teddy bears for adults sold in a few stores and at teddy bear and doll shows. We would drive from Washington State to San Diego in California. We had no vacations during those years so we always drove through the Redwoods as part of a sacred journey stopping to commune with those ancient giant trees. So GRATEFUL for all those people who fought so bravely to keep some of them alive for us to appreciate forever I hope!!! Thank you for sharing! Another Tree Hugger!!


Morgineon August 4, 2020 - 12:44am

Thank you for your lovely article. We made handmade collective teddy bears for a decade or so and drove from Washington State to San Diego, California for a doll and teddy bear show twice a year. We had no vacations during those years so we always stopped in our sacred journey through the Redwood Forests in northern CA on the way down and back home. They are some of my favorite trees I ever hugged! I too could feel their immense loving wisdom and today I can communicate with them and their messages inspire me so deeply. Thank you for sharing your experiences and reminding others, Trees can still be hugged right now and they DO enjoy it! They recognize people who walk by them regularly by their energy pattern! How amazing is that!!

Barbara Bozzoon August 8, 2020 - 2:34pm

Hugs and touch are things that will come back slowly and they are so important to the nurturing aspect of all relationships.  Our "inner child" thrives on them.  Perhaps referring to Nature as Mother Nature gives us even more incentive to seek her out for the comfort we so desperately need - now more than ever.  I have also realized that our forced "distancing" and lack of seeing that awesome "smile" or having that physical embrace is forcing us to actually talk more and share our feelings with one another.  You may not be able to hug your loved one, but please let them know in "words" how very much they mean to you.  That can be as powerful as a HUG!  Thanks, Tania! 

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