Stare held his hands tightly over his ears, attempting to stop the resonating tones from penetrating deep within him. His dark gray eyes were focused on the ground as he walked around in circles and then paused to pace back-and-forth.

He was trying to determine a simple, scientific hypothesis or mathematical equation that would enable him to understand what they were experiencing in the midst of this forest.

“This will never work,” Stare muttered as he glanced over at the dogs. His look implied that they were to blame for all that was happening. “There’s nothing to discover here, only the vibrations of these ghastly trees. We came to learn about Un-Old-Age, and now, now,” he stammered, “we find ourselves in this vast, unending Nothingness!”

Fabius was appalled and perplexed as to why an engineer such as Stare did not comprehend the opportunity that was before him.

“You speak of age?” answered Fabius. “Why are you not curious to learn more about this beautiful forest, which you refer to as Nothingness? These trees have been alive for many thousands of years! They are very old souls!”

Stare shook his head as if he wasn’t interested in what Fabius had to say. But the Guardian of Acronos continued his explanation while Grist and the rest of the team listened.

“These ghastly trees, as you refer to them, are trying to communicate with you the only way they know how:  through their vibrational frequencies. Each tree is a different age, and each has a distinct vibrational tone. The trees capture Time during every year of their growth, and all details are recorded and locked away within their circumference.

“These trees are old; indeed, they are ancient, and yet they are always expanding and listening as they grow and are curious about those who enter the forest. The trees are eager to record each visitor’s presence within their yearly rings of life.”

For a moment, the toning quieted and Fabius took a deep breath, gazing directly at the engineer. “You call yourself a scientist, Stare, and you most certainly should know more than any of your fellow team members that energy permeates all animate and inanimate. Energy and mass are interchangeable. That is basic science.”

This forest, this vast Nothingness of which you speak, is an energetically connected system, which has its own unique and complex consciousness.”

Stare looked at Fabius with annoyance and replied, “No one understands or studies consciousness in Grippland. We know chemicals in our brains determine everything we think and they manipulate our actions.”

Fabius held his ground and replied, “Perhaps, you do not wish to accept the basic concept that consciousness is energy, but this forest only wants to know who you are, and the way the trees learn about you is by discovering your vibrational frequency, your tone.

“When the trees match your tonal frequency, they will be able to communicate with you. As you are experiencing, the forest is continuously toning and vibrating; because, quite simply, it cannot find your tone. It doesn’t know who you are!

Stare gazed directly at Fabius and then Filloloper, “I have no idea what you are saying,” he grimaced. “Yes, these trees may be old, but that’s all they are! They’re old! They might be useful for making wooden boards to put nails into. That’s it! Nothing more!”

Filloloper shuddered and asked, “Indeed, Stare, what are your expectations? Do you see nothing in the Universe? If you observe and listen, nature and the unseen will give you answers when you are open to discovery. You should know that there are subtle energies everywhere waiting to communicate without the benefit of using words.”

Stare became more and more annoyed at the ideas he was hearing. In Grippland everything was black and white; there were no shades of gray. “The concept of communicating with trees, plants, or bushes or any other inanimate object is utter and complete nonsense, nothing more! I have nothing to learn here,” he mumbled and again cupped his hands over his ears.

You should know that there are subtle energies
everywhere, waiting to communicate without
the benefit of using words.

The forest resonance resumed in earnest, and the Gripps struggled to maintain their balance as the vibrations increased in intensity. A moment later, the first, large boulders, loosened by the powerful ground movement, were now tumbling down the trail directly towards them.

“Find the enemy before it is too late!” commanded Grist, quickly dodging a boulder and jumping out of the way of broken limbs of trees that were flying toward them.

The toning forest was now focusing intently on their location and the sound was becoming louder and louder.

“The trees only want to share information,” shouted Fabius, trying to be heard over the increasing volume of the humming. “They are keepers of knowledge. They are the record keepers of all living creatures who have ever visited their domain. There is no need to attack. There is no one to attack, except yourselves.”

Crazed and enraged, Grist commanded, “Prepare to fire weapons upon my command!” He was blinded by his obsession to engage an enemy, even an invisible enemy. He ran toward the trees with the highest resonance, followed by Twist and Scheme, and quickly vanished into the forest.

All the plants and trees were slowly and deliberately practicing their tone, like musicians in an orchestra tuning up their instruments before a performance. Since everything in the grand vista of creation is vibrating at its own unique frequency, each of the plants took turns adding their distinct tonal value to the harmony of the forest.

First, the shorter grasses vibrated at a high-pitched tone, followed by the younger trees harmonizing at a slightly lower key, and then the older trees began complimenting the harmony with even more profound depths of tonality.

Filloloper and Fabius listened joyfully to the awesome splendor of nature’s symphony. Altogether in unison, the entire Forest of Tones was creating beautiful music—a harmonic resonance that perfectly matched the majestic, tonal quality of the Universe.

Little did the Gripps grasp or care to understand that the Forest had only wanted to say, “Hello!”