Today I took a photograph of the 600 years old linden tree standing in the old courtyard of the Eroica House. Ludwig van Beethoven lodged there over the summer until late autumn of 1803 and wrote three of my favorite compositions – Symphony No 3 (Eroica), the Waldstein Sonata and the Tripple concerto. It was the time of premonition that his life was going to be a descent into silence and darkness.
This linden tree was a witness of his inner turmoil.
For a few days now trees have entered my mind and there is something about these marvelous beings from the green plant kingdom that wishes to reveal itself.
Trees -like all plants – have the ability to convert energy from sunlight into nutrients and so virtually all other breathing creatures depend on plants to survive. Plants also provide the oxygen humans and animals breathe, because plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and release oxygen into the atmosphere
Maybe this is the connection between trees and humans – they are the silent guardians of our existence, providing food and warmth, being the intermediaries between the world of form and formless.
Practically every esoteric tradition has a tree of life and they are symbolic for creation, growth and transformation. A tree also bears seeds or fruits, which contain the essence of the tree, and this continuous regeneration is a potent symbol of immortality.
If you touch a 600 year old linden tree that was a silent witness to Beethoven’s struggle with faith, you suddenly understand what trees are all about. They are guides, protectors, teachers and the seat of many, many being and souls. The old Celtic Druids and even before the old Greek mystery traditions honored the tree, because their wood holds a powerful spiritual presence.
Trees are living things, filled with the essence and energy and of the Elementals and Mother Earth with an aura of power which is visible to those who are in total balance and harmony. The lore which surrounds a particular tree or wood often reflects the power the old ones sensed and drew from their presence.
I imagine Beethoven working in that small room overlooking the court yard with it’s old linden-tree, sitting at his piano made of the wood of perhaps maple or walnut trees, his world increasingly going quiet, but he is intently listening to Orpheus singing in the depth of the underworld – louder, and louder still.
And the old linden tree bowed in recognition of it’s own essence.