Admit it, the first thing you think of when you hear “Love Exchange” is sex.

And maybe the second thing you think of could be the essence of what these two perennials are exchanging here? Can you see the love, the leaning in that happens when one wants to fully receive what the other, the beloved, is sharing?

That’s what I see going on — a loving conversation between two old friends who have more secrets and shared history we than humans can imagine.

Two gorgeous old tree friends having a conversation on a beach in Kauai as witnessed by photographer Lisa Joy Mercure

Two gorgeous old tree friends having a conversation on a beach in Kauai as witnessed by photographer Lisa Joy Mercure

This image was recently shared with me by a friend and magnificent photographer as a result of our 2-hour conversation that meandered, as timeless conversations do, along gentle and graceful pathways of the heart.

Holding this image for a couple of days has had me more carefully noticing my tree friends in the neighborhood and while driving around town (carefully of course). Today I sang to a few friends surrounding a special watershed.

About 10 or 15 years ago I remember reading a book that predicted days in the future when all trees had gone extinct. It seared my mind in the way that painful assertions — scientific, intuitive, or otherwise — can do; and my brain proceeded to block its initial fear and attempt to deny the possibility of a tree-less world. If I am honest with my eyes as they see the degradation of these perennial givers of unconditional love everywhere, I find their current condition — the condition we humans have placed them in — to be unbearably unwell.

I resolve to hold this truth and lean in as a good listener does when attending to their beloved. It can be hard to hear what trees are communicating with us, but it is not impossible, it is possible with an intention of respect and care.

Interestingly, while walking around the block today, I witnessed two women on the sidewalk staring silently at a giant oak tree. Had I not been in the state of mind and heart I am writing about I might have walked by leaving them to their private experience. But I suspected, and was correct, that they were similarly awestruck by her beauty. They told me they were talking about the “new” science about trees communicating with each other. What a fantastic and immediate gift of nature reinforcing my new resolve to listen (and speak)!

Please check out this article about Suzanne Simard, author of Finding the Mother Tree.

We can hear trees communicate with our eyes and our hearts; we can seek out and visit with the rare and undeniably healthy trees — unadulterated and unburdened by electrical wires — and sing their praises as we would our most beloved family members, as all trees may rightly be considered.

Please enjoy this poem:

We’re talking about Grace. Micro-dosing love all day. Every day. Yes! And Celebrate — today is here. We are the ones to see. To kiss the Earth. Our Mother. Our Father. Whose ART surrounds us all.

In what ways do you super-size bad? In what ways do you mini-size beauty? In what ways do you get to do life — and give grace?

Can you smell the difference between Hemlock and Norway Spruce?