I like Fall not only for its unique beauty here in the great Salish region, but also because it encourages me to prepare and make the best of the next 4 months: my least favorite time of the year.


Mindful Monday

This eternal looking tree resides majestically on Washington’s Pacific Coastline near Kalaloch Beach southwest of the town of Forks.

Known as the Tree of Life, or simply the Cave Tree of Kalaloch, this sturdy Sitka spruce can be found near Kalaloch Lodge in the area of the Quileute and Quinault Nations and the Hoh Tribe. (the Olympic National Park)

The tree straddles a cave formed by a small hidden stream that empties into the ocean.  Between the erosion created by the stream and the waves, logs and storms that batter its profile, it’s a miracle it has not yet dropped to the beach and washed out to sea.

Its age eludes everyone though I imagine the people of the Hoh tribe have stories of its origin.  They know their roots. This tree’s roots have their own stories of stress, endurance, resilience, and pride.

Roots seek and store resources. They hold ground.

This tree does not endure because it has a positive attitude.  Although we know plants respond to music, I don’t know if the sound of pulsing waves lulls it into relaxation. The tree does not proclaim victimhood or domination, nor does it rely on the praise and adoration of beachgoers. It manages as well as it does because it knows its essential needs. It knows its capacity and works with what is available. It adapts out of necessity.

The Cave Tree of Kalaloch is doing its best under the circumstances.

It simply is.

Mindfulness practices this week:

  • with pride. The hillside needs your contribution.

You have an immense reservoir of equanimity and integrity.

Be well and hang in there, everyone.

A koan for today:

When the tree finally falls will it have failed?

Lisa Wellington

Lisa Wellington is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher who writes about integrative practices that downshift stress, increase insight, and jumpstart joy.

She is best known for her work with law enforcement professionals as well as those challenged by housing instability and addiction. Trained in the Fine Arts at Washington State University, she specializes in group training that engages participants’ inherent creativity.

If she is not under a stack of books about psychology and spirituality, she can be found at a Puget Sound beach or nearby trail, always searching for the absurd, which is her superpower. 

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