The Secret Life of Trees

I’ve recently been revising my novel Indian Summer to add more conflict and mystical experiences. The story is about how Marcie tries to stop development of an old growth forest on the lake where her grandparents live.

A few weeks ago I went to a film festival sponsored by the Indiana Forest Alliance and connected with the Development Director, Sandra Messner. We had a great conversation which sparked some ideas that I plan to incorporate into the novel. The Alliance’s mission is “to preserve and restore Indiana’s native forest ecosystem for the enjoyment of all.” The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ mantra is that “for forests to be healthy, they need to be logged” which does not support preservation of our old growth forests. Sounds like a good start for some conflict to develop!

I also ordered the book, The Hidden Life of Trees – What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben, which arrived yesterday. I’m super excited to read it. The inside flap says,

“…trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers.”

This begs the question of whether trees are sentient beings. In The Field I explore the Universal Energy Field and Collective Consciousness as they relate to the interconnectedness of humans, but what about other living (and even non-‘living’) entities like animals and plants (or the Earth itself)? Are they connected? Do plants have feelings? There is another book that looks interesting on this subject The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Thompkins and Christopher Bird. In her book, The Intention Experiment, Lynne McTaggart cites experiments by Cleve Backster showing that plants react to human intentions.

Research is one of the best parts of writing. The idea that plants are sentient beings and have feelings and react to danger and human activity is super intriguing! Can’t wait to learn more and incorporate it into Indian Summer.

The Indiana Forest Alliance aims to preserve forests for the enjoyment of all. In Japan, the practice of ‘Forest Bathing’ is widely practiced. Spending time in nature is scientifically proven to improve your health. I’ve even read that some physicians are prescribing time in nature as treatment. This is one of the reasons that I incorporate environmental themes in my novels. The natural world is beautiful, awe-inspiring, priceless and feeds our souls. We must be the Earth’s caretakers, not exploiters.

The Global Consciousness Project

In The Field Eric is connecting to something, some force, when he’s in the goal that gives him a sense of knowing where the ball is going to go before he possibly could. He doesn’t know what it is and struggles to control it. Through the vehicle of story and Eric’s struggles, I wanted to explore the idea that we are all connected by the same energy field, the same power, the same consciousness. Although it may seem like a metaphysical concept, there is real science to back it up.

Quantum physics has shown that at a subatomic level everything is connected. These tiniest of particles only have meaning in relation to other particles, linked by a dynamic web of interconnection, and once in contact with one another, they are always connected. This connectedness transcends time and space. This has been proven in numerous experiments.

What’s been difficult for scientists to determine is how this connectedness translates into the life we see around us. Do these same principals apply to us? Are humans all connected to one another and if so, how?

There is an interesting on-going experiment called The Global Consciousness Project run by an international consortium of scientists and volunteers that measures random white noise occurring in the noosphere to test the theory that humanity itself has a global consciousness. In other words, is there evidence that our consciousness as a species is connected in some measurable manner?

From the website:

“Personal experience is supported by a growing number of good experiments which show that consciousness and intention have subtle but important effects in the world. We know that groups of people sometimes experience a special resonance of feelings and ideas, and recent scientific evidence indicates that effects of coherent group consciousness can be detected with appropriate instruments. The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) is an international collaboration of researchers extending this research to global dimensions via the internet.”

Since 1998 the group has gathered and analyzed data according to rigorous scientific protocols, and has found “strong” and “significant” evidence that certain events, such as the funeral ceremonies of Princess Diana, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, terrible accidents and natural disasters, major religious gatherings, and midnight on any New Years Eve, have a worldwide impact that can be measured as a “spike” on a graph. They state, however that “we do not know whether there is a global consciousness.” Source EGGs in a Global Basket by Wm. Michael Knight

Although the scientists of the Global Consciousness Project don’t purport to draw the conclusion that there is, in fact, a consciousness that connects us all, I believe that there is. What do you think?

Premonitions and Intuition

Have you ever had a thought or feeling about something that later came true? Did you realize what it was at the time? If you had known that it was a premonition would you have acted differently?

I recently had two separate traumatic occurances where I had a premonition about them beforehand. It wasn’t as though I ‘knew’ what was going to happen, more like a fleeting thought crossing my mind that I remembered after the event.

The first was a car accident. I had been driving all around central Indiana a day in mid-December and was headed home. It was early evening – dark and raining. Visibility was bad and I was concerned about getting into an accident. I had a fleeting thought that I might get rear-ended, but it was just that – a fleeting thought. It occurred to me and then I moved on to other thoughts. I had been in a rear-end collision on a similar dark and rainy night in October, so I attributed it to that connection.

The car in front of me stopped on the four lane, busy road to turn left. I wasn’t able to pull past her into the right lane so I waited for her to turn. After a few moments I heard a screeching sound and then BOOOOOM! someone crashed into me from behind hitting me so hard that I crashed into the car in front of me and hit my knees on the dashboard. It wasn’t until later that I remembered the fleeting thought of the rear-end collision. Could I have avoided it if I had known it for a premonition? I’m not sure what I could have done.

The second premonition was about my nephew breaking his arm. Over Christmas I went to California to visit my brother and his family and to watch his two kids while he and his wife took a little ‘adults only’ vacation. My niece and nephew and I were having a great time on our ‘Auntventures’ going to museums, roller skating and going to the movies and the library – they love to read!! My brother suggested I drop them off at a bouncy-house play center on Friday evening so I could have a few hours to myself. I remember thinking – ‘Ben is going to break his arm’. Again, it was hardly even a solid thought, just a fleeting idea. I dropped them off and went into the little town to shop and have dinner.

Midway through my dinner and into my second glass of wine I got the call. I thought – ‘here it is’ – before I answered. Ben may have broken his arm, they said. When I got there I was met with a fire truck, ambulance and police car all with lights flashing. He did in fact break his arm pretty badly, but I’m happy to report that the cast was just removed last week and he is healing beautifully!

What if I had paid closer attention to my intuition or premonition and not taken them to the play center? Would Ben not have broken his arm? Probably. Was it really a premonition or just me thinking of a possible likely scenario? The doctor who treated him said they see kids with broken bones from those bouncy houses all the time.

In The Field, Eric has frightening dreams that he doesn’t know what to do with. Is he connecting with The Field? The Collective Consciousness? Was I? What do you think?

The Field Publishes April 23rd!

The Field pub date is April 23rd! Pre-order your copy today!


 “We have to set aside what we think we know about the world around us and open our minds to new discoveries…Just because you can’t see it and you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”

Can we really all be connected by the same energy field, the same power, the same consciousness? As Eric Horton learns more about these concepts – in his science classes, from the experiments his girlfriend’s father is conducting, even through his own bizarre experiences on the soccer field he still finds it all hard to believe. But he must open his mind to all the possibilities before him if he is to succeed in saving what he could never forgive himself for losing.