Observations placeholder

Sheridan, Clare – There are elemental spirits everywhere-in every flower and shrub and tree



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

My Crowded Sanctuary – Clare Sheridan

…. there are elemental spirits everywhere-in every flower and shrub and tree: we are surrounded by them. They live their own lives, and do not take any notice of us if we do not take any notice of them. Their great protection is that humans are not generally aware of their existence.

Trees, big old trees, have at all times of my life extended to me their spirit salutation. I have found more relief, in sorrow, from weeping with my head against a tree, than on any human shoulder! There is the natural strength in a tree that it gives out if one knows how to extract it.

A very great oak-tree personality stands a few yards from my house. He looks south across the Park, but on the north he faces a void-that is to say, the hollow. His roots are interwoven and entwined, in horizontal, twisted nakedness gripping the sandstone cliff. The sand has been pick-axed from beneath him. Indeed, I have talked with an old man who in his youth dynamited the cliff immediately below, yet the giant stands, defying the prevalent sou'-wester gales.

Sometimes on a quiet evening I commune with the spirit of this tree. We are great friends, and although I have had the effrontery to plant little crackling bulbs between his toes which surely tickled him, my respect for him is deep. His is a Sphinx-like, philosophic spirit, unfearful, indifferent, slightly ironic.

The source of the experience

Sheridan, Clare

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Communing with nature