It was hard to believe that I had let two weeks go by without visiting the forest with my Tree friend.  Every step that brought me closer felt like an entry way into a new magical realm.  All I sensed around me became crystal clear with crisp details.  Without even knowing, the path to the Tree opened before me and I was soon vibrating with anticipation of what would happen on this visit.

The Tree and I greeted each other warmly.  To me, it felt like coming home every breathe that I took in this place.  The Tree seemed genuinely pleased to be with me too so it must feel like home for both of us.  I asked the Tree, “can you tell me a story this time?”  The Tree pondered and said: “I sense Michael that you need to hear a story of warriors, of light and dark and what it means to be human.”  My body sensed this to be true as I had recently struggled with accepting some of the darkness I felt inside.  “Yes, please tell me” I enthusiastically stated.

So the Tree shared a story that must have been stored for generations and ready for this moment…and the  Tree began:

Long ago, when people shared this forest space with us there were two tribes that constantly battled to control the resources of these lands.  One tribe considered themselves of the Light and their warrior leader was named Lancelot.  The other tribe didn’t mind being considered of the Dark and their warrior leader was named Armageddon.  The tribes constantly fought and slaughtered each other in the name of their superiority over the other one.  The tribe of Light believed it was their destiny to extinguish the tribe of Dark just as the Dark wanted to eliminate the Light.  The warriors, led by Lancelot and Armageddon would come together on the battlefield with the goal of killing each other, never seeing any other path for their lives of complete opposition.

The fighting and resistance to any other choice continued as the warriors aged.  Never stopping to see another option, they continued on with hate.  It did not matter whether they were seen as Light or Dark, hate seemed to be their common bond.  Then one day as the warriors met on the battlefield something unique happened.  Armageddon and Lancelot met with broadsword and battle axe in hand in the center of the melee.  They seemed to be tiring of swinging their mighty weapons but that did not stop them.  They dropped their weapons and resorted to hand to hand combat. 

As they wrestled and screamed at each other in the midst of their rage, a heart suddenly appeared in between them.  They did not notice it at first and as they continued the vibrant red heart pulsed and light burst forth in all directions.  The heart appeared to connect the two warriors and they finally noticed.  Both felt it at once as they realized the heart was not between them but was of them.  They shared this one heart and if one died the other one would as well.  They were brothers after all and needed each other to coexist in this world.

As the battlefield stood in stunned silence, the two warriors looked at each other with new eyes and perhaps for the first time since they first met in hatred and opposition.  Could there truly be another path?  Even with their differences, could they realize that they were both continuing the same struggle of accepting their humanness—strengths, frailties, and all?  Were they both glimpsing the truth and realizing that if they worked together they could be even stronger and live more fully, relying on each other’s strengths, than acting as separate beings?  A smile crept into both Lancelot and Armageddon’s faces and instead of returning to the fight they clasped hands and looked all around at their soldier comrades.  Cheers erupted as weapons were tossed aside as everyone present was exhausted from the death and destruction they had lived with for so long.

Everyone talked and laughed together in way that had not happened in an age long gone by.  After hours of this wondrous joy and heartfelt togetherness, the humans slowly made their way from the battlefield ready for a new way to coexist.  And to this day, the trees remember the peace that came from the Shared Heart and we all reveled in the prosperity and peace of the humans newfound truth of their connection.  The trees have long memories and we are glad to share this story again with you today.

With tears in my eyes and passion fire in my belly I thanked my friend the Tree.  We sat in silence for a while as I let every cell in my body absorb the story I just heard.  As tensions rise in today’s world with all the polarity of beliefs related to everything from virus management to global climate change I couldn’t help but hope the Shared Heart would show up again for all the warriors of the world.  It was time for me to go so I said farewell for now to my magic forest.  I am pretty sure the Tree slightly bowed as I left and I decided to just believe.  As I walked away, I wondered what wonderful things would happen on my next visit.