Treegurd and the Units of Joy

    There once lived a young tree in a forest far from civilization.  His name was Treegurd and he was a young tree of about 40 years of age. During the day, the trees of the forest were still and rested but at night the forest changed.  When the moon would show, the trees grew faces and communicated using a vast network of roots, fungus, and tendrils of consciousness, but they could not physically move.  Often, Treegurd found the conversations were quite basic at night and many times filled with gossip.  He didn’t care if Helga had lost another branch or a squirrel had begun to hide nuts inside a hollow in Arvid. 

    During the day, when the nighttime activity ceased, the trees rested and dreamed.   Treegurd was interested in his dreams, but many of the other trees did not remember their daytime activities let alone speak of them.  One day, he dreamt that a small family of humans walked by him in the forest.  In the dream, one of the smaller creatures seemed attracted to Treegurd and touched his trunk and swung from his lower branches.  The child laughed and played with a joy and a freedom he had never imagined could be afforded to the trees.  At first he had no reference to understand this dream since he had never seen such creatures in the forest, but the dream of the young child recurred until he could remember the human form during the night when he was awake.  He longed to move his roots out of the ground and physically move in such a way as the child and humans in his dream.  

    Treegurd could not contain himself when he awoke at night and spoke immediately to the other trees about the significance of this dream.  As he expected, the other trees were not interested.  One tree even warned that there was once a tree named Osval who had become interested in dreams and shortly afterwards his trunk snapped in two.  He warned Treegurd should be careful about exploring these unusual activities.   Thinking of Osval sparked Treegurd’s curiosity, so that night he projected his consciousness into the network of roots to visit the place were Osval once stood.  Although he could not physically travel there, he could see the scene through the awareness of the other trees in the area.  There was indeed a stump with sharp jagged edges and a large trunk lying next to it.  Treegurd felt a strange feeling while he was here, an excitement, perhaps an acceleration that he could not explain.  

    The next day while dreaming, Treegurd had another significant dream.  The image of Osval came to him.  Osval was an ancient tree with eyes that displayed a gentle knowing and additionally a spark of youthfulness in them that Treegurd was not accustomed to seeing.  Osval explained in the dream that he was not gone but the trees were blind to his form in this plane of existence.  In the dream Osval spoke “Many years before my death in your plane of existence I  had discovered a mysterious substance using my roots called units of joy. Most of the trees limited their roots only to the most superficial layers of the forest floor.  These units of joy are everywhere, but their influence was stronger in the water and soil in the deeper, more hidden pools further under the surface.  I recommend you begin to work on growing your own roots deeper in the ground.” 

    Osval continued “An extra concentration of these units at my gravesite was responsible for the acceleration you experienced.  Your dream of the humans is quite special, it was not merely a dream of a few hours but encapsulated the energy of a million years into your dream form.”   Treegurd awoke suddenly when confronted with the notion he had experienced a million years worth of energy encapsulated into just one dream.  

    The very next night, Treegurd began the process of growing his roots deeper into the ground.  He was astounded of how his dreams could contain a dream within a dream.  He found that paying attention to his daytime dreams was one of the best ways to deepen his roots in addition to treating his fellow trees with respect despite his growing awareness of the source of their struggles.  As his roots grew deeper, Treegurd noticed he began to develop some new dreamtime abilities.  While experiencing his daytime dreams, his roots would lift out of the ground of his dreamtime tree form.  In the dream state he could begin to use his roots to propel his tree body across the Earth.  After many more years he could move quickly across the forest floor like the child from his dream but only while he was sleeping.  

    One night whilst awake and communicating with the forest and the other trees, Treegurd felt a tingling at his roots.  A flutter and excitement grew in his trunk, intuitively he knew the tips of his roots had found the units of joy of which he had been growing towards now for over a decade since he first encountered Osval in the dream state.  Suddenly, Treegurd’s trunk began to vibrate, at first gently, and then the vibration became more violent.  The earth shook and a gaping hole grew in the earth where Treegurd fell into a cave beneath the earth.  Immediately, his roots took hold again on this other level of the earth.  He sat astounded in an area he never knew existed below the surface.  

    The cavern was quiet at first but then he heard a rustling.  A tree approached but it was physically moving!  Treegurd’s branches dropped towards the ground in disbelief.  It was Osval, in the bark, and his roots were out of the ground and moving towards Treegurd.  He couldn’t believe it.  Treegurd greeted him in utter disbelief.  

    “Osval, is that you?” said Treegurd reluctantly.

    “In the bark, are you surprised?”  Osval replied

    “But you are dead, at least I thought you were dead, I saw your broken stump”  Treegurd said, still with his branches dragging on the floor.

    “Yeah, up there they see me as dead, but you might want to take another look, go ahead ride the tendrils from here and you might see something different.”  

    Treegurd tapped his consciousness into the network of roots, fungus, and tendrils above and rode to the resting place of Osval.  This time he saw his stump but there was something different.  In the same place, an image of a mighty tree aged hundreds of years old appeared over the stump.  The image was somewhat blurry but surrounded by a dull glow of light.  

    Treegurd returned his awareness back to his body now in this cavern within a deeper layer of the Earth.  Osval, using his branches, motioned to him with an upward motion pointed at his roots.  The dew and moisture from this deeper layer became electrified, glowing and dancing around Treegurd’s roots like a million fireflies in the worlds most coordinated symphony.  Treegurd’s roots tingled with an excitement so strong he never believed such a feeling possible.

    Osval spoke simply “Units of Joy.”

    Treegurd felt a great impulse to move his roots.  The Earth rumbled and his roots slowly lifted from the ground.  That which in the past secured him to the ground now moved slow at first but then suddenly all of the cave began to glow.  Mushrooms, frogs, newts, and all of the creatures of the cave began to glow and Treegurd heard music that seemed to come from nowhere.  All of the creatures in the cave moved in synchronicty as the energy grew around his roots, now out of ground.  It was there in that cave that Treegurd took his first steps.  At the moment of his first steps all the units of joy in the entire Universe grew a little brighter that day.   That day, within this new earth layer, Treegurd had the strangest dream.  He  dreamed of a giant whale poking its head in and out of the ocean, when he awoke Treegurd was excited and knew he now wanted to learn to swim.