The Waltz in the Woods

March 19, 2013 § 31 Comments

Cold and gray this morning.  The storm has moved on.

I sit at the wall of glass looking into the pine forest that encircles my home along the southern coast.  I hear only the sound of the coffee brewing and the faint clicks from the keyboard as I write these words.

Right now the wind from the tail end of the storm is moving through the tall pines.  Each tree moves rhythmically with the wind, first bending to the wind’s will and then swaying back to its upright posture.   Yielding just enough to accommodate the gusts and then returning to its centered, upright way.

The wind ceases.  The dance ends.  The trees are nearly still now, just quivering a bit in the soft breeze that remains.

And then the wind comes up.  The dance commences again.

This cycle repeats- still, then quivering, and then swaying- a choreography of wondrous and hypnotic beauty.

I have not written anything for more than two weeks.  I have thought of writing every day.  And every day I somehow wasn’t able to write- too busy, the idea for the writing unworthy, whatever.

But this morning, I didn’t think about writing, I just sat here and looked out the window.  Wrote what I felt and what I saw.

Nature always models the way.  Giving up resistance, the tree bends to the wind.  But when the wind passes, she returns naturally to her centered existence.

The winds took me away because I resisted, I tried to think my way out.  But when I ceased fighting those winds, when I stopped thinking about what I had to do, I found myself again- here, at the window, watching the waltz in the woods.

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§ 31 Responses to The Waltz in the Woods

  • dumitruichim says:

    I love it! Waiting for more! Mulțumesc! ( means Thank you in Dumitruichimian language)

  • Katie of Black Hills Reiki says:

    Such a beautiful story, I could see the trees in my mind. I live in an area where I get to do the same – just sit and listen to the wind through the trees and it is simply transformational. It is a great lesson to live like the trees, bend with the wind – don’t resist.
    Thank you for this reminder!

  • julienmatei says:

    Just love this:

    “But when I ceased fighting those winds, when I stopped thinking about what I had to do, I found myself again – here, at the window, watching the waltz in the woods.”

  • phlyfitmama says:

    My dearest Tom. I love this post. It says so much about our individual and yet communal journeys….our approach to resistance, and when we give in, we always find our true rhythm. To me you and your soulful writing is that soft music in the background that soothes when I need it most. xo Heather

  • dadirri7 says:

    transporting description bringing your reader into the moment with the dancing trees … sublime … thought only gets in the way of so much … slide into Being … slipping past thought when it is having a rest (poor thing!) … slipping into the awesomeness of your true nature … peace and gratitude Tom, Christine

  • Anitra says:

    Thomas, it is SO good to finally have a bit of time to get back into reading your blog and updating my own a bit. As always, this is so beautifully written, so poetic. I completely understand the too-busy-or-have-not-much-to-say writing lull … but your writing has so much depth and beauty that even if you simply write a few sentences that exemplify your observations of the world around you in that moment …. that would be good enough. Nothing fancy needed to make your blog posts meaningful and lovely. And I love your final paragraph – we can never think our way out of most things to do with the heart … better to move with the flow. So glad you posted and so happy to have read this.

    Much respect,

  • Nature is the greatest teacher!

  • Thank you Thomas. Yes the mind often gets in the way. It thinks it has all the answers. So we have to learn to work around it, as you have.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thanks for coming by.

      Glad you’re home safely- and hope the illness is behind you now.

      I’m still so impressed with the strength and will you showed all of us in making the commitment to your Africa experience. You surely change the world by your existence- serving others with a strong sense of self. A very good, admirable thing. Thank you.


  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    Thinking vs. Feeling…always a tug-of-war until we stop the resisting. Begin to exist. Another beautiful example, Tom.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Resistance never the way. The pines would be gone without their capacity to accept what comes. As I would again be lost if I returned to that other way.

      Thanks so much, Sharon.


  • potterfan97 says:


    I too have shared your sentiments these past few weeks. A certain lack of inspiration has kept me from writing. Yet this post has reminded me once again where to look for it. Thank you.


    • Thomas Ross says:


      I visited your blog and was happy to see that you regained your sense of self in that stunning “Despair” poem.

      We will gain and lose our selves. That just goes with the desire for self-awareness. But when we are centered, we are strong and sure- and ready to write. Let’s each try to be there as much as we can.



  • Anne Dickson says:

    Tom> Beautiful imagery of the pine trees dancing in the wind! If only we too could flow as nature intended and stopped resisting everything that comes our way: Life would be so much easier! We all resist but when at times we learn to flow then what amazing life experiences we have to share with each other. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with us: it surely sets us free of self-imposed limitations!



    • Thomas Ross says:


      My delay in replying is a sign of my own struggle to live like the trees. I’ve been “busy”- my head filled with thinking. But this afternoon, things are quiet again. I look now to my left and see the trees swaying to the gentle breeze. I think of your many kind words and our connection. Peace.


  • Julianna says:

    Beautiful, as ever.

  • starrystez says:

    Beautful. There are so many messages in nature, so much guidance. Thank you.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thank you.

      I much admire your own beautiful and insightful work. I am especially taken with the way you share and use your dreams to explore and experience your spirituality.

      Happy to be connected.


  • brendamarroy says:

    This really spoke to my soul. I often want to write something but before I can get it on the page I deem it unworthy and let it go. I trust the day will come when I am stable enough to withstand the strong winds that sometimes blow my way.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I don’t think you need worry about a lack of strength. Seems more like the struggle- like me- to maintain a consistent hold on your sense of self. When I’m there, I have all the strength I need. The challenge for me is to be there- and stay there.

      I am always so happy to see you here. I know that a thoughtful and supportive response is waiting for me.

      Thank you.


      • brendamarroy says:

        You are absolutely right, Tom. It is a struggle to maintain a consistent hold on my sense of self. Thank you for recognizing that and pointing it out to me.

  • I was transported to watching the dance of the trees. I was soothing and restorative. Thank you. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I continue to watch the trees. The winds have returned here and the capacity of the tall pines to give and sway is amazing. Such a model for me.

      Thanks for your continuing kindness and thoughtful attention to the work.


  • I’m with Tracy, simply beautiful. I can definitely relate to thinking – being power. Very nice writing – I could imagine myself at the window and watching the beautiful winter dance. Thanks!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Pretty good company, I think, you and Tracy.

      This is the most powerful compliment you could give me- to know that the words I write trigger your feeling and imagination in this way.

      Thanks so much.


  • I read your post as I gaze out the window at a beautiful soft snowfall here in New Hampshire. You are right, Tom, nature models the way….

  • tracy fulks says:

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. Thanks for the lovely view this morning, it made me slow down and breathe. I could smell the pine.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Please forgive the tardiness of my reply. Been struggling to live my own lessons these days.

      So happy the post meant something to you. Means the world to me for you to take the time to share your reaction to my work.


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