“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
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.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.
So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
~Hermann Hesse, Baume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte (Trees. Reflections and Poems)
Having spent a good portion of my life researching, reading, studying, dissecting, and uncovering, I’ve come to a place where I am more drawn to experiencing, integrating, and practicing the discoveries I’ve come to learn as my truth, as well as being extra present to receiving from within to learn to interpret the messages constantly gifted from the Universe…in essence “walking the walk” and discovering and growing in the moment.
I prefer direct, inner experience and if I do read, it’s through divine guidance I’m drawn, rather than “seeking” and sometimes that is merely to pick up a book I’ve already read to turn to exactly what message would be most powerfully reiterating that day.
And sometimes what I’m drawn to read is to discover other tools that I can share with people that may be supportive with the journey of gentle “beingness.”
I’ve also been known to “simplify” things and to use child-like examples to illustrate the complex in a way that speaks to the heart.
Perhaps it is all of these reasons that I was inspired to read my dear friend, Cliff Durfee’s book, Stories for the Inner Ear, which I’d been reading in a slow pace, when I felt guided to, mostly taking place while at the beach on the weekends relaxing and picnicking (as pictured in the photos of this post).
This is my review of Cliff’s book that I recently posted on Amazon:
This is an enchanting book and simple, flowing read that anyone can enjoy. Whether you read it as a novel or simply flip open to one of the eleven magical stories, you will find exactly what is valuable for you to bring awareness to in your life, while being taken on an adventure that leads to the heart of you. I have always felt that we make things more complex than they need to be and that it really IS simple. Cliff’s book is a perfect example of this. Having been one who has studied and read metaphysical information and books throughout my life, I’ve come to a place of not feeling called to acquire information anymore, but focusing on the current Intuition Age. I prefer direct, inner experience for developing a relationship with The Divine within and Cliff’s book, Stories For the Inner Ear, does just that. It is laced with layered symbolism and will work on your subconscious in more ways than your mind will wrap around, but your heart and soul will be grateful for.
If you feel guided to a fun exploration of you, reminiscent of the days of story-telling, that you can come back to, time and time again, you may enjoy this gentle journey Cliff shares. Whether, adult, child, or simply child-at-heart, you may find resonance with this lovely and loving experience that, as Jack Canfield shares, “is destined to be a movie shot in beautiful Idyllwild.”
You can explore more about Cliff’s book here, including a video and reviews of reader comments, foreword by Jack Canfield, and receive a discount coupon for your first copy of the book here: Stories for the Inner Ear
It’s also available on Amazon here: Stories for the Inner Ear
Cliff Durfee resides just north of San Diego in Encinitas, California. He received a B.A. in Education from Arizona State University, and worked for over a decade in the area of complex computer software design. It was clear early on that his primary talent and joy was through creativity. He pursued this in a major way by founding Live Love Laugh. This company published his first two books and a gift product he developed, called Sprinkles, which sold to over 2700 stores over a period of seven years. He has used his creativity to develop very innovative websites for clients, including My Referral Club, which assists many business clubs across the nation in networking and business referrals. For over thirty years, he has been devoted to personal and spiritual growth, developing intuition, and supporting people in aliveness, love, and laughter.
Cliff’s first book was called “Feel Alive with Love, Have a Heart Talk” and was published in 1979. It assists friends, couples, and families in having harmonious and loving relationships. The seven-step Heart Talk went on to become a popular communication technique used in youth groups across the nation. In 2005, a chapter of the book “The Success Principles”was devoted to honoring this technique, which Jack Canfield used in many workshops over the years.
His second book was a curriculum for teachers. In addition to receiving a teaching credential in Arizona, Cliff’s affinity for teaching and love for children provided a natural way to expand upon his first book by bringing it into the classroom. This curriculum, “More Teachable Moments,” contains experiential lessons that assist students in developing listening skills, expression of feelings, and mutual support for achieving goals. These materials were endorsed by the world famous psychologist and author, Dr. Carl R. Rogers. All of Cliff’s books were produced out of love, creativity, and the desire for everyone to have a greater experience of life, love, and laughter.
During the last two decades, before publishing “Stories for the Inner Ear,” Cliff practiced listening within. Wonderful words flowed out in the form of allegorical stories. Though he knew it was something he wanted to share, life’s little (and big) distractions kept having him put things on the shelf until it was published in 2011.