TreeSisters plan vigil for 5,300 trees being felled by Sound Transit
With the news that Sound Transit will cut down 5,300 trees alongside I-5 as part of its Northgate to Lynnwood light rail expansion, the local chapter of TreeSisters plans to stand up for the rights of our green brethren.
Isis Charest, author of the “Awakening Earth Chronicles” book series and a TreeSisters member, organized a “pray-in,” in which people will gather with the trees in a vigil to communicate with them through poems, songs, and prayers before Sound Transit cuts them down.
“We say ‘cut down’ like it is no big deal, but basically, 5,300 trees are being killed,” Charest told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
TreeSisters is an international organization that combines feminism with environmentalism, uniting women in an effort to lead the world in conservation and reforestation.
The preservationists plan to sit with the trees, “thanking them and apologizing to them for what is being done to them,” said Charest, who is also a visionary consultant and graduate of the Tacoma Psychic Institute.
She pointed out that the trees absorb the noise of the freeway for people living nearby and help with air pollution.
Though Sound Transit is planting over 20,000 trees as a replacement, according to the Seattle Times, Charest said that the small trees won’t be much of a substitute for 5,000 mature trees that are 60 years old.
“What they replant is going to be very little, short, it’s not going to absorb noise, it’s not going to help with the breath,” she said. “It’s not going to do any of the things that these trees, now in their middle age, are capable of doing.”
She was also upset to hear that the trees could be sold as lumber for a million dollars by the tree removal company once they are cut down.
Charest said that she knows trees are in pain when they are felled. At a similar tree communication ritual in Green Lake a few years ago, when cottonwood trees were being cleared, she said that “the trees screamed when they were being cut down.”
“The trees breathe us, and the trees are actually being,” Charest said. “They are alive … they are conscious beings.”
She explained that most people don’t understand that one can communicate with trees.
“You can talk to trees and you can get answers,” she said. “And I have done that.”
Finding a connection with trees, however, involves opening one’s mind up to the possibility, she said, which is why most people don’t hear what trees have to say.
“The first time a tree talked back to me, I almost fell over,” she said. “And part of it is because we don’t believe that trees can talk.”
The key, she said, is to be quiet after you’ve asked a question and wait for the tree to answer by way of energy transfer.
“It was the energy from the tree that was so powerful … I felt its energy when it responded to me,” she said.
Dori said that he loves trees and would begin listening to the large tree in his backyard.
“You have to ask a question … they’re used to being talked to; they’re not used to having anyone listen,” Charest advised. “And they actually told me that.”
Dori asked if the trees felt any anger toward Sound Transit for their coming demise. However, Charest said that the trees “are not judgmental like people,” so they won’t make any statements against Sound Transit.
The TreeSisters vigil does not yet have a specific date and time. This story will be updated to include those details at the earliest opportunity.
Charest hopes that everyone with a passion for nature will turn out for the event and show their solidarity with firs and pines.
“We have the opportunity to have a new relationship with trees,” she said.