Thursday, April 15, 2010


I had an experience recently on vacation where I rested in the vast ariel root system of an enormous Banyan tree in West-Central Florida. I was warm and tired after a long walk one afternoon. I was depressed and felt oddly displaced by the man-made perfection of the community we were visiting, but when I stopped to rest --I felt so held in the arms of that tree I became completely restored. A single Banyan can come to resemble a forest grove. They are magical trees. I know my spirit rose in response to my brief communion with "my" Banyan. I think Robinson Caruso found home in a Banyan once. I feel like maybe the Swiss Family Robinson did too. I know Kipling’s Jungles were full of them.

Banyans are a holy tree in India and Pakistan. Historically they’ve been associated with the Buddha, with merchant communities –gathering places for the exchange of goods and services and as places where people gather to pray. In fact, June 20th in India and Pakistan is a holy day of prayer just for women. They gather around great Banyan groves giving thanks and praying for what they might want to manifest in their next lives.

I want to invoke the spirit of the Banyan. Apt, I think, for the spirit of work we do at Women Writing for a Change, where each time we gather we use our words and the truths of our experience to create the possibility of finding home inside of us, of sharing soul home or the search for such a thing with others, and of putting down roots and spreading out to manifest our best intentions…for our writing and for our lives and the better world that will result.


Elephant skinned
Spider legged
Weeping woman
Hindu holy
Prop Rooted
Strangler Fig
Wish fulfilling
Divine Umbrella
Traveler’s Home
Far Flung
Fruited One
In the shelter of the Banyan
Soul, come sit at the feet of this tree of love!

BLR 4-15-10

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. I love the marriage of prose, poem, and this very distinctive image. Not to mention, the symbolism the banyan and its traditions offer WWF(a)C. MKP