The Story Behind – TREE SINGER

Hint: There’s a hidden theme in the book!

I used to, pre-pandemic, take monthly trips to Auburn, California to stay at Mercy Center’s retreat center. It’s a beautiful Catholic retreat center amid a small forested area. Once when I was there, the rooms were full, so I stayed in their hermitage, a lovely duplex nestled in the oaks and redwoods. I looked out at the enormous trees from the living room, and it was there, as I contemplated the beauty of trees, that Tree Singer was born.

This idea came to me about the symbiosis of all living things. It came to me in the form of a “What if?” question, as most of my book ideas do. What if there was a girl who could help trees grow by singing to them? And my imagination was off to the races! Tree Singer is a book I worked on for about four years. It encompasses many themes: a girl finding her voice, using and growing her gifts, and having quite an adventure in the meantime. The theme of the unity of all living things is paramount to the book. But — there is also a hidden theme.

Here is what the back cover says:

Fifteen-year-old Mayten loves training as a tree singer, an esteemed position among her clan. But when she feels pain coming from the trees, she finds herself on an unexpected quest, one so dangerous she might never return home.

Now Mayten must use her unfinished training to face betrayal, fear, and a deadly foe. Is she a match for the ancient evil attacking her trees, or will the entire kingdom fall to ruin?

You won’t find the secret theme there. Nope. You won’t notice it at all unless you’re a student of St. Teresa of Avila and have read the Interior Castle. Or if you’ve done some training on the stages of spiritual development, which you can read on my blog starting here.

Mayten goes through several stages of learning to listen to the trees, and these I based on the idea of our stages of spiritual development. The ultimate stage, and the one we may never experience, being unity.

So, if you’re interested in trees, nature, an exciting quest, and hidden spiritual themes, give Tree Singer a try today!

You can pre-order an eBook Copy HERE. You can enter to win one of 100 free eBook copies HERE. And the print book will be available on Valentines Day! Can’t wait.

Thank you for your support! Jacci

Photo of Mansion by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

Spiritual Practice: Listening to Trees

Trees2

What do you mean, Jacci, trees don’t talk! Well, even though new scientific research is showing that trees actually do communicate, that’s not exactly what I’m referring to.

I’m talking about sitting in nature: listening, observing and being in awe of creation. We forget, in our busy lives, just how much nature is good for our souls.

If we live in cities, or in my case the desert, it might be hard to find a beautiful place to sit and reflect. This calls for some creativity, but most cities have parks, marinas or protected areas like wetlands and arboretums nearby. It’s time to investigate your area!

tree hugger

So, once you find a tree, how do you listen? I suggest if it is possible, laying on the ground underneath it. I know, you have to throw your dignity out for this one. But, looking up into the beauty and the structure of a tree is amazing. If you can’t do that, just find a good spot, even if it is from inside, and then be quiet.

Turn off your cell phone, quiet your mind and just look and listen. Trees are amazing. They have seen and heard and experienced years of history. The bigger the tree, the more they have seen. If you can get to an old growth of redwoods, prepare for a holy experience; some of these trees have been around since Christ walked the earth. Can you imagine what they have been through? Fires, storms, births, deaths, wars, love.

Many trees are connected through their root system and live in family groups, holding each other up through storms and floods. Aspen trees grow in groves and all share the same DNA! Ponder the deciduous trees that lose their leaves every autumn. They understand birth, death, growth, starting over, pain, dormancy. Let the trees speak to you about your life. Listen to their wisdom.

Tree Singer (1)

I’d love to hear how you feel about trees. Is it just me? Am I crazy to get such life from being among them? One day I was sitting in a cabin I had rented for this purpose, looking at trees out of the window, and the idea for my book Tree Singer, was born. If you’d like to follow it you can see the available chapters here.

Also, in book news: I got this stunning review of my new book, Snapped! Give it a listen. It is for young adults aged 11 and up. It’s about cyberbullying and empowerment. This review makes me cry every time I listen, and she says the book “changed her life!”