Based on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, Sparkles and Dirt is a blog by Louise Brunet. Her posts explore the beauty and the struggles we all encounter and how we can, just maybe, show up for all of it with compassion and grace.

Talking with Animals and Trees

Talking with Animals and Trees

Animals and trees have been talking to me my whole life. When I was a kid one of my favourite things to do was play in the forest near my home. I loved climbing trees, exploring creeks and ditches looking for frogs and snakes. Out in the woods with the squirrels, raccoons and trees I felt at home. I had a kinship with nature. We were best friends.

IMG_2773.jpg

I felt more at home in the forest than I did in a classroom or in any setting with grownups. I just wanted to be outside, where I felt good. Where I felt alive. As I grew up I began to believe that a wild imagination and not actual interspecies communication was at work. So I put it aside and focused on the business of being a grown-up in a logical world.

Flash forward many years, I earned two college degrees, got married, had 3 kids, and set about raising them. Having children gave me permission to be a kid again. (which was amazing!) I took them exploring in the woods near our home. While I was showing them how to find salamanders and snakes I would hear a tree say something to me, or feel overcome with the energy from the rocks and the wind. I would clearly hear our dog Nala communicate with me over and over. This all felt natural.

One day when I was still trying to figure out what was going on, I asked the trees why they were talking to me and their answer was very simple – “Because you hear us”. Fair enough.

Over time I understood that I was in fact able to communicate with animals and trees. This is not just my imagination. I was so surprised when I discovered that some people actually work as animal communicators – wait what?! So fun! No one mentioned this on high school career days! How did I not know about this.

Flash forward more years, I’ve moved across the country and changed my life to live what I feel is my true calling. It has been a process of letting go of what I’m not so I can be more fully present as myself and therefore to others. The clearer I get with myself, the clearer my connection with animals and trees becomes.

Some of the most profoundly exquisite moments of my life have involved communicating with an animal or a tree. I’m deeply honoured and excited every single time I engage with them. In fact sometimes it amuses an animal when I get all excited about talking with them. They are very matter of fact about it because this is how they communicate and how they relate to the world around them. But I am over the moon about it. It continues to blow my mind.

IMG_1325.JPG

In July 2015 in Sequoia National Park, the giant 2000 year old trees reached out to me and asked me to be a bridge between them and the human world. And honestly what do you say when a tree the size of a sky scraper who is older than Jesus asks you a favour?

You say yes.

The animals and the trees are wise teachers. They generously share their wisdom with me and invite me to ask questions. I’m most often completely surprised by what I hear from them; their perspectives are not at all the same as our human experience. I’ve shifted my understanding of the world as a result.

Over the past few years I’ve had the delightful opportunity to communicate with whales, orcas, dogs, cats, 2000 year old Sequoia trees in California and 150ish year old Sequoias, Douglas Fir and many other trees in BC, bald eagles, herons, crows, the 7 ravens in the Tower of London, the carriage tour horses in Victoria BC, spiders in a friend’s apartment, (that required letting go of any preconceived ideas about spiders!) 400 year old Chestnut trees in Greenwhich Park, seagulls near my home (seagulls are hilarious) and on and on.

My heart and soul continue to expand with every experience. I do have a kinship with nature. And we are best friends again. I'm grateful to the trees and animals for patiently waiting for me to come back. And I know now, that tremendous healing happens for humans and all in nature when we open up to each other.

I walk a path now in service to these magnificent trees and animals. My job description, as they put it, is “bridge between nature and humans.” I have many stories to tell in upcoming posts.

A Dog, a Parrot, and Firefighters

A Dog, a Parrot, and Firefighters

This precious life, a not so good day

This precious life, a not so good day