Once upon a time there was an apple tree. It grew right beside a Sanctuary in the Ecovillage Findhorn, where the community came to meditate and hold sacred space. She witnessed their rituals honouring Earth, Air, Water and Fire. She was such a happy tree growing beside a garden dedicated to Co-Creating with the Intelligences of Nature.

Then out of the Sacred Elements a terrible fire destroyed the Sanctuary and scorched the apple tree with black scars. The apple tree grieved her pain and the loss of the Sanctuary. She blessed the Water who had saved her and the Earth who had protected her roots and the Air that cooled her wounded branches. She forgave the Fire and watched sadly as the community grieved the loss of their Sanctuary. She witnessed 4 sister trees beside the Sanctuary – Scotch pines as old as her – give up their life force to the body of the new Sanctuary that humans designed.

Then, the little apple tree heard the Sanctuary building team persuade the gardeners that the apple tree would have to be removed to make way for the construction site. The gardeners were very unhappy to lose such a long-time friend and decided to graft the apple tree to retain some semblance of its precious lifeforce.

But the little apple tree was much more alive than anyone could tell by looking at her charred trunk and pruned branches. It remembered the women who had caressed her leaves and tasted her apples. She longed for the comfort of children and families who had walked by her for many years. Deep in her apple tree being she dreamed a dream that she sent out into Gaia’s heart – a dream so strong that it arose on the other side of the world in the island of Mauritius. There the woman, S (who had loved the apple tree while she lived near the Sanctuary) awoke with the power of her dream so strong that she sent an email to her friend M in Ecovillage Findhorn. “The apple tree does not want to die. It wants to live – how can you help?”

M never doubted the authenticity of the question or its source. Immediately she visited the apple tree, to consider how to make this wish come true. She listened deeply to the apple tree’s powerful desire to live fully, and sensed that a solution could be discovered if together they co-created with the Intelligences of Nature.

M spoke to the gardeners, asking for a temporary place where the apple tree could rest until a final home could be found. But the gardeners could not offer such a refuge. However K heard the story and said, “We are creating a fruit forest at Woodsides – our new home for families, children and elders. We are just digging the plots. We would welcome the Sanctuary apple tree.”

Before M knew it, word had spread and JM the tree deva blessed the opportunity for the apple tree to move. JC1 from the Hinterland Trust offered tractor transport and a cart to carry the tree to her new home. Community volunteers prepared both old and new sites to expedite the move. Tree experts advised how to safely transplant the apple tree. They supported the roots with special care – paying attention to the fine hairs on the ends of the main roots, keeping them moist and shielding them during the transplantation. They even created special compost infused with natural mycelial elements to feed the soil in the new home of the apple tree.

Such Love between species and dimensions was celebrated on Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2023 – when all the resources of the community assembled at the Sanctuary site to Work as Love in Action. Volunteers gathered the spring bulbs from the garden beneath the apple tree, collected the soil, carefully releasing the three main roots from her old base and carried her with pomp, ceremony and love to her new home. There the whole village transported the little apple tree to CAREfully prepared soil in just the right sized plot and gently placed her in her new home.

She was in full sunshine. In front of the houses of 4 families with children, laughing and playing and 4 elders who could enjoy her shade and fruit in years to come. The apple tree smiled with satisfaction, sighed with relief and within a month had produced new sprouts and spring leaves. She stood tall and firm in her new home, treasured by all ages and passersby who came to know her name: Valentine.

Now Dear Reader, if ever humans needed to learn the values of Deep Inner Listening, Co-Creating With the Intelligences of Nature and Work is Love in Action, then the apple tree has a tale to share that is truer than truth. Her Dream to Live Fully has travelled around the world from Fire to Air, Water to Earth – and now grows like a Valentine in all our hearts, flourishing leaves and germinating fruit.


By Marilyn Hamilton marilyn@integralcity.com, 412 Field of Dreams, Ecovillage Findhorn, Forres, Scotland IV363TA