Kumano Kodo

Do trees talk? Yes, and so does a thousand year old stone road that weaves through the mountains and forests of Mie Prefecture in Japan. I just returned from one of the most wonderful trips of my life. (Just a few short hours from our Tree House and Tree Climbing School. ) This beautiful area is an Adventure with Soul. This Part of Mie is destine to become World Heritage and the small towns and fishing villages are living history in themselves. The temples and trees beckon to be visited. The Kumano Kodo the main life line that connected the sea side villages and the mountain towns. It was traveled by Emperors, Samurai, Merchants and Peasants it was loved and sacred for almost the past 1000 years.

The love for the land, the hand laid stone path, the mountains and forests is still alive and living in the hearts and lives of the local people.

As I set my hands together to show respect my heart burst and I couldn't hold back tears... I was so surprised by the out pouring of emotion. It was then that a elder Shinto Priest walked over and bowed. He said " You must love trees! We call this the talking tree. It calls out to the tree lovers. Did you notice it is bowing to the temple it has lived here for over 1000 years and is one of the family, it bows to the temple and we bow to it. Last year a great tree doctor in Japan saw the tree can cried for an hour. I have been here for over 60 years and it is the first time that it has talked to a foreigner. And the first time that I have met a foreigner like you who speaks the Nagoya Dialect. Welcome my green eyed friend, your eyes speak of trees and leaves and tales of the forest. Would you share some tea and the babblings of an old man? "

It was dark when I slip on my shoes and bowed to the special tree. and left the shrine. I had promised to bring other tree climbers from many nations to share their love for trees. " My young green eyed friend I look forward to visiting your tree climbing friends and wish to hear of tree stories and the love of trees from distant lands. My the Tree Gods watch your steps and the moon kiss your back as you tread on the fallen stars. " ( The elderly priest had previously shared the most wonderful story of how all the stones are really fallen stars who have given up their fire to come to earth and be the paths for man. He had said sometimes their a few rocks that still hold onto the passion of their past and are warm to touch.)

I would like to share this wonderful experience with like minded tree climbers and fulfill my promise to my elderly friend

PS. I asked to take a picture of my friend and he said, with a huge smile and little bow, to take my picture would remove the magic of the Shrine. I am but a 97 year child here. The greater wisdom is in the trees and Shinto Gods. I am like sand in the wind soon to be blown to another place.

Yours JOHN