“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.” —Hermann Hesse
Tilly’s Tree begins with the birth of a baby girl.
To honor her life and teach her to connect with all living things, Grandpa planted a tree. —Excerpt from Tilly’s Tree
Tilly and her tree grow through life together as Grandpa teaches Tilly to have compassion for all living things. One day, Tilly arrives home to find her Mom waiting to share the sad news that Grandpa passed on. Together, they find comfort under Tilly’s tree. After a reflective summer under her tree, Tilly is awakened to the connections between all living things and to her own greater purpose, just as Grandpa had intended.
Tilly grows up to become an arborist in a forest where she cares for many trees. She meets a special person in the forest that shares her connection to all living things. They marry under Tilly’s tree. Moments before her ceremony:
She closed her eyes and saw herself as a child there. She heard Grandpa’s voice in the rustling leaves and felt his gentle kiss through the breeze on her cheek. Tilly heard her own laughter swirling through the branches above. She remembered the hours of quiet and stillness and those miraculous moments when she was awakened with an understanding that she was a part of everything that existed in the world. Tilly’s heart opened wide from all the love and sacred gifts that had been shared under her special tree. —Excerpt from Tilly’s Tree
Sometime later, Tilly gives birth to a baby girl, and the story comes full circle to repeat this family’s tradition of honoring the birth of a child.