We have all seen it: trees covered in ribbons, tea lights in long barrows and floating lanterns in lakes. While I understand the sentiment behind it, I don’t get why people would leave materials that could harm a site to which they feel a special connection.
I am probably preaching to the converted here but I generally try to adhere to the “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints” maxim or at the very least work with whatever is naturally at a given site and so I wanted to share three simple ideas in this context for inspiration.
First of all, I love weaving! It’s a great way to imbue an offering with a bit of personal energy and intent. If you are a Kumihimo fan you can use the exact same techniques you would employ for yarn for long-stemmed fallen leaves and you can see an example in the blog photo. Alternatively a simple plait of some strands of grass will do or maybe even a good old daisy-chain (although I wouldn’t advocate excessive flower picking)? Even a single leaf, mindfully placed, can serve as a beautiful and meaningful offering.
The second suggestion is to offer sound which I found particularly pertinent when working with trees: breathe in mindfully, receiving the tree’s gift of oxygen in gratitude, and breathe out with a hum, sharing your personal voice signature and energy with the tree in return. You can also experiment with chant in caves or stone circles, explore how the sound echoes off different surface areas. The resonance might guide you to a point where you feel a personal connection most strongly.
The third and final idea is my go-to when all else fails: leave a single hair! I appreciate it’s not feasible for everybody but in most cases it’s readily available, it’s super personal and completely biodegradable. I have to credit a friend of mine with this inspiration who shared it with me while we were on a Brighid themed trip to Ireland and I have used it ever since!