The Mother Tree

The Mother Tree

I have just returned from the first of four week-long retreats with the Coaches Training Institute Leadership Program. The retreats are held at "The Mother Tree" in California, near Sebastopol, one and a half hours north of San Francisco. It was an amazing experience; I fell in love with the people and the place. As a "Leader in Training" I am discovering the impact I have on those around me.

The retreat house is named after the Mother Tree, an ancient redwood tree on the property. She stands tall and weathered, her twin trunks reaching into the sky at least 60 feet high, a haven for a multitude of bird species. The air carries the fragrance of her breath. Each morning I stood in silence, inhaling the beauty of the terrain and savouring the calm. As the sun crested over the eastern horizon the Mother Tree's upper branches were bathed in gold and birds chattered noisily among themselves, flitting back and forth. Wild turkeys clambered over the gate nearby and disappeared into the meadow beyond. Deer grazed silently on the slopes while crows and hawks flew overhead. A woodpecker drummed high above.
The Mother Tree is over 1500 years old and her trunk is so wide that at least 8 people can stand side by side at her base. Her top is flat, her spires long ago ripped away by wind or lightning. She stands there serenely, a silent witness to the passage of time.
Daily I awoke to the fresh scent of the redwoods. One morning I discovered that fog had rolled in from the ocean and was resting in the valley to the west. The tree topped hills in the distance floated like castles in the air. Nature shared her rhythms and wove her spell over us all. I look forward to visiting this magical place again soon.


Anonymous said…
How beautifully put. I'm so glad through your lens I could show people the beauty and wonder of what we experienced. Thank you for sharing your artistic eye and voice to our magical experience.
Now I know why there is JOY in your name. Barb
Anonymous said…
Hello Maura
beautiful photos. Would love to see CAL some day. What a coach you are and will be.
Anonymous said…
Great photos Maura! Thanks for putting these up. Looking forward to some Shintaido by the Mother Tree this winter.

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