The Magic Tree 2018 Flyer
The Magic Tree 2017 Flyer
The Magic Tree 2016 Flyer
The Magic Tree 2015 Flyer
The Magic Tree 2014 Flyer
The Magic Tree 2013 Flyer
The Magic Tree 2012 Flyer

Thanks again to the The Village of Cherry Hill Business Association for hosting the Magic Tree.  The Village of Cherry Hill hosts the Magic Tree for the sole purpose of continuing the gift of holiday cheer that the annual lighting of the Magic Tree brings to the community.  The opinions expressed in this flier and on the Magic Tree website ( are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of The Village of Cherry Hill or any of its residents, businesses, or customers.   Will Treelighter
Welcome to the 18th annual Magic Tree.  This year’s tree has nearly 9000 more lights on it than last year’s – close to 44,000 lights, most of them LED.  It took about 50 hours to put them on the tree.  There is an estimated 3.5 miles of lighted wire on the tree, so I’ve gone to some lengths to get your attention!  Thanks for picking up my flier.  I provide this flier each year to answer a few of the frequently asked questions and then attempt to write something inspiring to think over while looking at the Magic Tree.  The Magic Tree is full of purpose.  Ultimately, its purpose is for you, the observer, to decide, but I make the following offering in case you are inclined to peruse it.

The Magic Tree is one light and one power expressing through a tree of many diverse individual mini lights.  All are connected to the one source, the power plant.  It is the same way with all of humanity.  There are many kinds, colors and brightnesses, but all are plugged into a single source of life, light and love.  It is this common source that makes us human and we form a grand tree of expression of our common Source’s light, life and love.  Some burn dimly, some burn brightly, depending on how well developed their connectivity is.  Our interconnectivity grows in the similar way that the brain naturally develops electro-chemical connections between the synapses and nerves, but growth also takes place in accordance with directives given by concentrated attentiveness to desires, goals, and willful outcomes.  These in turn grow capacity for expression of the One Source.  (It also increases capacity for misuse and abuse, but this is not the place for that discussion.) The question comes to mind: as we grow in capacity for expression of the One Source… who are we?… the individual expressions?… or the One Source expressing through individualized mechanisms?
Many today expect one to come who is a perfected expression of the One Source; an individualized perfected expression of God.  If the Magic Tree analogy holds true, such a perfected human would also be expressing the highest desire of each and all of us, if by “highest” we mean that which most closely reflects that of our common Source of life, light and love.  That light from the perfected human would be like the light of all of us together, the way the Magic Tree gives off one light made of many put together.  The Coming One, then reflects that highest being that is within you and within each of us, but has yet to be demonstrated collectively through us.  By reflecting our highest aspirations this Expected One would have much to reveal to us regarding how to live in harmony and peace with each other and the Earth.  “World Teacher”, then, is an appropriate title for such a one who comes (or comes again) out of the very same evolution as the rest of us.  Is not our highest aspiration for Heaven on Earth?  Then this World Teacher comes to help us in our cause.  The Magic Tree is my feeble attempt to make a symbol for a tiny bit of such a Heaven on Earth revealed.
As you look at the Magic Tree ask yourself: what would such a new world of Heaven revealed look like?  If it is going to be Heaven on Earth it will need to have an atmosphere of unconditional love with everyone getting along and cooperating with each other.  There will need to be a sense of everything being refreshed and renewed with unique  experiences in creativity manifesting daily.  There will need to be a sense that all is good and that all needs are being taken care of so that no thought or energy will be spent on worry or a sense of insecurity.  People will naturally share all that is good, knowing that the supply is equal to the need and if they themselves need something someone will step up to share it with them.

People will be able to travel widely with no fear or government interference.  All country’s borders will be open in spite of there being different and diverse forms of governing.  There will be broad respect for differences among people, with a realization that it is respect for diversity that allows unity to come about.  Striving for uniformity creates division, because people rebel against it in the cause of needing freedom to make their own unique choices.  Uniformity then, will be understood to be the antithesis of unity and abandoned in the appreciation of the world’s diversity giving an inexhaustible abundance of different experiences to the world’s people.

Each person, in such a world, while pursuing whatever experience they desire, will naturally drop everything to give to another what it is the other seeks or needs, full knowing that their own fulfillment is guaranteed, even as one sets aside one’s own desire and when all cooperate to give each other what one another need.  Any attitude that detracts from this natural service of each other’s needs will be understood to be one that is self destructive and disruptive of Heaven on Earth and the cause that nearly brought humanity to self destruction and quite possibly annihilation of all life on the planet.

Can you imagine living in such a world?  Pretty utopian! you might say with an air of skepticism.  But we are talking about Heaven on Earth, after all.  What do you expect of paradise?!  The Great Teacher once said “Heaven is at hand”.  So how far could we be from manifesting it here on Earth, particularly with the aid of the expected World Teacher?  Is it not what we have strived to create in our United States of America with our principle ideal of freedom of religion, with liberty and justice for all?  The realization of such an ideal will require us to have respect for each other’s differences.  Our ideals of individual liberty, yet justice for all, at first seem mutually exclusive… unless each person, in their liberty, freely chooses to treat each other person as they would like to be treated themselves.  Then justice (and mercy) will be automatic.  We have not yet achieved this ideal.  If we do, we will have Heaven on Earth.  I think it will take a great catalyst, as in the emergence of a Great Teacher, a Great Encourager, to bring us into such a realization of the ideal.  We are ripe for such a Teacher’s appearance and I have heard of His emergence.
First let it be known: this Coming One is a reflection of that which is within you.  It doesn’t matter if you are Christian or atheist, Muslim or Hindu, Buddhist or Jewish, agnostic or scientific materialist, there is still the universalSelf common to all of humanity.  Regardless of belief systems or belief itself, the sense of Self is with everyone.  Sure, we confuse Self with our bodies, feelings and thoughts… as if the transport that we got in at birth and that we discard at its death… were the Self, but this is not the case.  The Self is the One within each that in silence observes all.  It behooves us to identify with this One Self – that of all humanity – and recognize that we each are exponents of this One Self.  It is this One Self common to us all that the World Teacher represents.

We have a sense that we (humanity) are on an evolutionary track toward something.  We expect out of our evolution that we will solve humanity’s problems and create a better way of life… or… we will end our evolution in self destruction, unable to step up to the challenge of our time, because of our confusion born out of identification with body, feelings and thought.
Of late it seems that we could end up doing the latter – self destruction.  But hopeful things have happened.  The opening of the Soviet Union to its diversity came about and served to end the cold war.  The Berlin Wall was taken down reuniting Germany.  The fall of dictators to the voice of the people in recent times indicate that when we together recognize the One Self, in the guise of our humanity, great things can be accomplished.  These are things that happen in response to people deciding that they have something within them that wants to be expressed.  They then seek an outlet for it and things must change or turn to chaos.  That something within is the One Self.  The expression is often messy, because it is mixed in with egoism, but the One Self of all humanity is in its midst none-the-less.

The illusory ego that arises out of confusing our identity with our vehicle (body , emotion and thought) cannot bring about Heaven on Earth.  It knows only greed, because it sees itself in competition and in separateness from all others.  Heaven on Earth must be built out of the awareness of the One Self that recognizes that when you have done something for someone else than you have done it for your Self.  In our present egotistical confusion if we were suddenly transported to Paradise we would not be able to fathom how it works and our realization of it would be greatly diminished, resulting from our lack of awareness of our connectedness.  In fact that could be our actual present situation!  Could it be we are in heaven right now and simply don’t know how it works?!
We each must therefore train ourselves in recognizing the One Self as our own Self while letting go of separative egotistical thinking that confuses our vehicle of manifestation with the Self.  We may then be in a position to recognize Heaven sent inspiration for a new world.  We may then freely choose to apply our energy to building up Heaven on Earth.

We are not alone in this transformative task.  There are those who have gone on before us in the realization of the One Self and are therefore masters of this awareness and so may serve us as guides.  There is One at their forefront who has so mastered Himself that not is left of egoistical confusion and so He is able to serve as a pure representative of this One Self in Whom we all participate.  This is the World Teacher, so named because of His universal acceptance of all who come to Him for guidance.  Understand that He is the same as the One Self that is within each of us; that He does not displace that Self that is our Self, but simply represents it.  (It remains therefore, our own prerogative, each in our unique way, to make as pure a representation of this One Self as we each can muster.)  The World Teacher is the Imam Mahdi of the Muslims.  He is the Christ of the Christians.  He is Krishna come again to the Hindus; and the expected Maitreya Buddha of the Buddhists.  He is the Messiah of the Jews.  He is the Vanguard of the down trodden and the Inspiration of the scientist.  He is the Silently Observing Self of the Atheist and all who confuse the Self with the body, which is most everyone in spite of professed beliefs.

Did you think that all these were different persons at war with one another?  No, they are all manifestations of Maitreya Buddha; all manifestations of the Christ in Jesus.  They are all appearances of the One Self in Whom we all participate – the Only Begotten.  Realize this and be free of opposition.  Realize this and be witness to Heaven on Earth.  It is still here… now… at hand, and we, humanity, are at a crossroads of choice to forge ahead, eyes wide open, into our birthright of true freedom, liberty and justice for all… or, Heaven forbid, to stagnate in a miasma of doubt and fear as we plunge over the cliff of self destruction.
We have seen enough of the wars of Armageddon (think of the world wars).  We do not need more of that to motivate us.  It is time to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and create the kind of world where war can never occur again so we can focus on healing the planet for our children’s children.  The World Teacher, and many Masters (of self) with him, are here to inspire and galvanize us into action.  They cannot do the work for us however, or else how would we grow into the ability to realize Heaven even when we have been placed in its midst.  Each of us must step up to the task in whatever way we are able.  What can each of us do to make our unique little corner of the world more Heaven like and sustainable?

The Teacher returns.  Brittle doctrines must fall releasing the dynamic truth they have crystalized.  Beware the pitfall of clinging to the old thought forms in shriveling wine skins.  Soon the moment will be at hand when He reveals Himself to us and we will find that He is within us and at the same time in His own body as well.  The truth of the One within us all is: we are each a manifestation of that which is in everyone.  Christ, Maitreya, World Teacher, the Great Encourager – whatever you may call Him – has come “like a thief in the night”.  No one knows the hour of His actual revelation to all of us at once, but be assured He is among us and soon is His (Our, the Spirit of Humanity’s, the One Self’s, the Only Begotten’s) advent.

Information on The World Teacher’s emergence is found at

Mark your calendars for a public dvd presentation of The Emergence of Maitreya the World Teacher, a talk by Benjamin Creme, Monday, January 14th, 7 pm at the Unity of Columbia building, 1600 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO. and Transmission, A Meditation for the New Age, a lecture by Benjamin Creme, also presented via dvd, on Monday, January 21st, 7 pm, same location.

(These video disk lectures are presented by Will Treelighter and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unity of Columbia.)
Love’s in everything,

Will Treelighter

The Magic Tree 2011 Flyer

Welcome to the 17th annual Magic Tree.  Thanks again to The Village of Cherry Hill and The Cherry Hill Business Association for hosting the Magic Tree.  The Village of Cherry Hill hosts The Magic Tree for the sole purpose of continuing the gift of holiday cheer that the annual lighting of the Magic Tree brings to the surrounding community.  The opinions expressed in this flier and on the Magic Tree website ( are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of The Village of Cherry Hill, or any of its residents, businesses, or customers.

Will Treelighter

This year’s tree has a few less lights than last year’s in order to lighten the load on the wiry branches of this variety of cherry tree.  The tree is visibly a bit less weighed down I think.  It has about 12,000 incandescent mini-lights, 13’500 monochromatic LED lights and 9500 color changing LED lights for a total of approximately 35,000 individual lights with nearly two thirds of them LEDs.  It took some 40 hours of installing the lights and will take 20 hours or so to de-light in the early spring.  That is not counting the time spent bundling and putting the lights away, testing them and sorting the lights when I get them back out again!

The work involved in lighting the Magic Tree, while at times is tedious, seems worth every minute and the energy it uses a small price to pay for the smiles and energy I see in the faces illuminated by its many colored lights.  Redoing it each year gives me a chance to change the color combinations with emphasis on different hues from season to season keeping the presentation fresh and interesting.  This year I used most all the purple and pink lights I had plus some white wire blue which look more teal than the green wire blue.  The color changing lights add green, gold, blue, red and white to the mix in alternating varying hues.

Another thing that makes the lighting of the tree worth while to me is the opportunity it gives me to present some ideas to you that I have been thinking about.  Since 2004 I have provided a flier that makes an attempt to bring into focus what the light of the Magic Tree to me represents.  I have compiled these fliers along with some of my photographs over the years and a brief history of the Magic Tree in a new book calledThe Magic Tree, Book One: Inspiration.  You can find it for sale right here at Cherry Hill at Focus on Health Chiropractic Center located in the Merchant Street Building.  It’s also for sale at The University Book Store in Brady Commons, Unity of Columbia Book Store at 1600 W. Broadway, Get Lost Books on 9th St., Shakespeare’s also on 9th St. and Orchids and Art by the South Providence Jimmy Johns.

Also, across the street from the Magic Tree in DeSpain’s window you’ll find an ongoing slideshow presentation by Digital Impressions (a new division of MacXperts) featuring an even briefer history of the Magic Tree and inspirational words and photos of the Magic Trees of the past and their surroundings.  Thanks to Digital Impressions for putting that together and thanks as well to the sponsors of the show.

The Magic Tree is a window of its own of sorts.  If you make a concerted effort to be quiet within as you view the tree you may find that a contemplative window opens up within you.  Looking through the light streaming within, your empty cup is filled and you come away refreshed.  This sort of quiet inward attentiveness is of course not unique to quiet contemplation of the Magic Tree but is possible at any time you take yourself in hand and practice it.  A beautiful spectacle (a signature of love) can be an asset but the real help comes from within you as you place yourself with the deft hand of the mind’s attentive eye at the Center of All Love.  So all pervading is this center that it is at the center of each and every thing including you.

What if I told you that by your own simple action you could actually bring Heaven a little closer to Earth.  Well, not so much bring it, as realize that it is right here “at hand”, so to speak.  Would you take the required action or would you set it aside for a later time, perhaps… when life is less hectic?!  What if I told you that Heaven comes to you by Grace, that it is free for the asking, that there is nothing you need do?  Would you stop and ask yourself how can this be so and if there is nothing that I need to do why is it that ‘Heaven at hand’ is not more self-evident to me?  Might you add…and why is it that the world around me appears to be in such dire need of such grace?

We are suspended on a horizontal bar called time-space that contains all that we know – our bodies, our feelings, our thoughts, all our material possessions, all our needs, our hopes, our dreams, all our world.  We walk and run about on it like on a treadmill, like a lab rat scurrying about in a maze pushing buttons that give a pellet of food, or that give nothing in return for the effort.  We constantly seek satisfaction and happiness by any means available: entertainment, work, play, good food, junk food, drink, revenge; sensate activity such as love-making or striking out in anger; shopping for deals, the accumulation of things; fame and fortune; religion, politics and the economics of investment and business and on and on and on.  This time of year in particular the frenzy quickens to an exhausting pace that is fed by retailers competing for our dollars.  Year by year the ante is raised in expectations of hot deals and cool gadgets feeding our basest sense of greed at a time supposedly set aside for sharing and giving in honor of the gift of life from the One Source.

In all this activity we are lost to what is so close to us that it is within us, but we cannot see it.  Our preoccupation with the matter of quenching our desire for material, emotional and even intellectual satisfaction keeps our noses smelling out the next sensation and our eyes are kept down on our hands and feet as we crawl through the maze not realizing that if we just stood up we could see over the short little walls and realize that the labyrinth of passages goes on and on in all directions with no end.  At this we might despair except that upon standing still where we are we align ourselves with a formerly unseen and unrealized dimension that passes vertically through the horizontal bar or plane that we are on.  Inexplicably, the vertical bar is passing directly through the horizontal one exactly where we are right now and as we stand still in this dimension an awareness dawns on us that recognizes intrinsic goodness, love and beauty in the midst of whatever is about us on the horizontal plane of our existence.  There is a realization of peace and well-being in spite of what trouble and pain may be hounding us at that time and space.  Suddenly we are aware that we have been visited by Grace.  Heaven has come to us and goodness and mercy follow us.  Now we are in a unique position to share it with those about us by encouraging them to stand up still and know it for themselves.

There are many, however, who are so steeped in and weighed down with trouble and want that they cannot get up.  This is where we can be so helpful.  We come to know that what it is we ultimately seek (the satisfaction of love, goodness, beautiful environs, peace of mind – heaven) comes to us by grace – that there is nothing we can do to earn it or achieve it, all we must do is stand still where we are right now in this amazing world and it comes to us freely filling secret wings with the Aeolian winds of spiritual awareness that open up untold worlds of heavenly understanding and sight.  Once we know this we are set free from our own petty desires and can serve to fill the needs of others until they as well may stand up still.  This is how Heaven may be brought to Earth.
Grace is free to all.  All that is required of you is to set aside your preoccupation with running the maze and pushing the endless buttons trying to get satisfaction by any other means.  Standing up still means sitting down in meditation and/or prayer, being still in body, mind and emotion so that you can hear the One Source, Grace, knocking on your door, speaking to your heart.  This is not so easy a task.  Though it involves basically doing little, it is perhaps, the most significant, life changing thing that can ever be accomplished by anyone.

Our “fall from grace” came by the desire to know the difference between good and evil.  To know this difference requires us to muck around in it and strive to make sense of it and forge our way through it until we are hopelessly lost in its labyrinthian dichotomy.  All this forging through has made us accustomed to being constantly active particularly in mind and emotion so that stillness in these faculties seems foreign, even impossible.  It therefore requires concentration and due diligence to be still in heart and mind for even a few seconds.  A habit, then, of practicing this stillness is the key for becoming adept at “standing” in Grace in the midst of pain, grief and criticism, or for that matter, happiness, joy and bliss – for attachment to any of it, as though it were the source of our good, causes us to fall again onto our hands and knees and go back to crawling about looking for another joy button that will dispense some momentary pleasure for a price.

Grace is free to all.  As we practice ‘standing still’ in meditation, using our controlled physical body, mind and emotional planes of awareness as platforms to stand upon, we access a virgin form of awareness (one that is free from the idea that love and happiness come from things, emotions and thoughts that we don’t have and must acquire).  In that virgin heart of awareness a babe of pure and unconditional love is born out.  Shepherds of thought and emotion watch carefully and guard against the ravenous wolves such as those of fear and resentment so as not to disturb the tranquil babe that lies in a feeding trough formerly reserved for the animals of emotional reactivity and low level anxious or aggravated short sighted thought; animals that now lay calm and peaceful nearby.  There is no room in the inn for it is filled with people bustling and jostling in weary counting for “taxes” to be paid to the dichotomy of good and evil.  Joseph, the meditator, found space, none-the-less, in the lowly stable of contemplation that until moments ago was used to house lesser thoughts and feelings than his virgin awareness and babe of unconditional pure love.  Three kings then visit, having seen the starlight of pure love, bearing their gifts; one of will, another of spiritualized understanding and a third of spiritual creative intelligence.  A brilliant star shines above and a heavenly peace falls over all the land.
Grace is free to all.  By standing in the vertical pistil of spiritual stillness within, a cross is formed with the horizontal labyrinth of space-time life.  There we are suspended, as Christ through Jesus revealed in His example, until we die to trying to satisfy ourselves with material, emotional and mental things.  When we seek only what Spirit has to offer, the self inflicted suffering perpetrated by the whippings of emotional swings, the nails of insatiable desire and the wounds from the sword of separative thinking fall away and we are renewed in a dome of transcendental beatitude.

Grace is free to all be you Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, any of the other labels one may claim or none of the above.  I have  spoken in Christian terms for these are the terms familiar to me.  What Christians call Christ is known by other names in other religions. The approach may be described a little differently according to culture and language, but you can be sure that the One Source visits them all even to this very day.  Each religious group likes to claim exclusivity on the truth and the way to salvation, but this merely amounts to spiritual materialism and no such claim has ever been granted.  “You must come to Me yourself and alone” says Grace.  This means in your own heart.  You have also heard Christ has said “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.”  This means that each must come by the way of what Christians call Christ (others have other names for this Great Encourager).  “This Only Begotten Son of God” however, is an all pervading principle of pure unconditional love that can be discovered within each one of us if we will stand in the still flower of the Divine pistil.  The blood sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son is a reference to the presence within us of that Only Begotten One as we traverse and make ourselves painfully “bloody” and lost in that horizontal cross plane of space-time (or, of duality, or, of the flesh, if you prefer) as we seek satisfaction by material means.

As described in the above imagery, Christ is the pure unconditional love, the only begotten of God, that is born in the virgin heart of one who has set desire for all else aside.  This is the bottom line and such Grace is free to anyone from any walk of life willing to put down their heavy load of doubt, fear and desire long enough to begin cultivation of a pure heart.  There is no other way – but this way has many descriptions and many names.  It is a veritable magic tree of rainbow light.  It belongs to all.  Let it be gleaned from and sought out in every tradition by whatever name.  Groups form for mutual encouragement and increase their potency as they synthesize diversity, but It is time to put away exclusivist monochromatic claims that pit one group against another seeing said claims for what they are: more trappings of the material kind.

Thus the stage may be properly set for the emergence of The World Teacher who comes for the upliftment of all people regardless of religious affiliation or the lack there of.  This Teacher comes today and can be found in your quiet and prepared heart as your own truest self, as well as in His own enlightened body for the ready student – humanity.  Many are swayed by the falseness of exclusivism and many more by the anti-spiritual (anti-Christ) commercial emphasis on satisfaction by material ends.  These ways will hold your nose and eyes down so you cannot sense the endless labyrinth they weave.  Beware, but… take heart, for there are more and more signs of the new time just ahead.  The Magic Tree signs to you – Love.  The Teacher for this time is very near.  Stand up still and look about you and most importantly within!

Will Treelighter

The Magic Tree 2010 Flyer

“The Cherry Hill Business Association is pleased to be the new host of the Magic Tree, a display of lights created by Will Treelighter, who is otherwise unaffiliated with The Village of Cherry Hill.  Because he has run out of capacity at his home to host the crowds of viewers the Magic Tree attracts we are glad to welcome Mr. Treelighter to The Village of Cherry Hill solely for the purpose of continuing the gift of holiday cheer that the spectacle of the Magic Tree brings to the surrounding community.
The opinions here after expressed in this flier and on Mr. Treelighter’s Magic Tree website are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of The Village of Cherry Hill or any of its residents, businesses, or customers.”

Welcome to the Magic Tree at its new location.  And a big thanks to the Village of Cherry Hill for providing a park, a tree, more electrical capacity, and the electricity itself to power the Magic Tree.  Please let the businesses know, and any residents you know of at The Village of Cherry Hill, that you appreciate their cooperation in allowing the Magic Tree to be part of their holiday décor.  Without such collaboration there may very well have not been a Magic Tree anymore.  The traffic simply became unmanageable at the previous location.  It is a happy problem to have so many people that enjoy the Magic Tree that moving it to this spot is necessary.    Now many more onlookers may be accommodated and there is a way to bypass the traffic if desired.  It is my hope to do the Magic Tree for many years to come.  It is truly a joy to share with you my passion for colored lights combined with the graceful shape of a tree.

This 16th version of the Magic Tree is a cherry tree and has about 15000 incandescent mini lights, 15000 LED lights and in addition to that another 7500 color changing LED lights in three varieties.  That’s a total of 37,500 lights which is a little less than half the lights that were on last year’s Magic Tree.  This year it took approximately 40 hours to put the lights on the tree.  I’m thinking that as the years go by this tree will grow larger and eventually will accommodate a display similar in scale to the previous Magic Tree.

In the past the Magic Tree has always been a mature crab apple except for one year (I think it may have been the 1997 Magic Tree) I did a young spruce in the yard.  Last year was the fifth time I lit the particular tree you remember from recent years but before that I used to light an old crab apple that was near the front door of our house.  Some day I’ll get it together and post some of the few photos I have of the early years as well as from some of the latter years to the Magic Tree website so that you can see them.  Right now I only have a set of 24 images from 2006 and one image from 2005 that you can see on the website at
There are many photos, however, right here in Cherry Hill at the Focus on Health Chiropractic Center in the Merchant Street building.  Stop in there during their business hours to view the photographs and greeting cards which are also for sale.  Their hours are posted on their door.

You may also want to make an appearance here in The Village of Cherry Hill for the annual holiday festival on Thursday evening, December 2 from 5pm ‘til 8pm.  On that day at 5:30pm the official lighting of the holiday lights will take place.  There will be trolley rides, business open houses and Santa Claus among other holiday activities.

This year’s Magic Tree has a companion evergreen tree lit with 3000 color changing LEDs.  The two of them together leads me to think of the value of companionship; that of friendship, marriage, parent and child, that of siblings, or Earth and Moon, Sun and soil, energy and matter, spirit and form.  It makes me grateful that the universe seems to organize itself into patterns of relationships that often form dualities that afford companionship.  I wonder about the love that takes place between human partnerships, or between a person’s form and the indwelling spirit, and consider whether there is, unseen, a love of even greater intensity that takes place between the huge bodies we call planets and stars.  Is the magnetism in the form of gravity like an embrace?  Is the light and warmth of a star from an intense furnace embodying the indwelling energy of love at a level far beyond human capacity to comprehend and know?
We can only conjecture for now, but when I see the joy that the colored light of the Magic Tree brings to the innocent child and to even the not-so-innocent, experienced-in-worldly-affairs adult, I wonder at what, (how, why) something is being communicated without words, without touch, without human body language.  What is this indweller, this spirit, this magic that is communicating through this form?  Where does the energy come from that is beyond that of light, shape, color and electricity?  Is it all just a function of the highly sophisticated human physical form that we are all walking around in; just grey matter, synapses and electro-chemical currents in the brain?  How did this all come to be?  Could all this be a mechanism for the expression of something that is beyond what we can see and touch, an inner companion that itself is an expression of something transcendent?

I put the lights on the tree but I have not made it magic.  When you who see it respond by beholding it with imagination and happiness, you fill it with its truly light emitting magical properties.  I am not referring to the kind of magic in a magic show that is slight of hand and illusion or that of electrical constructions.  I am referring to true magic; that kind of magic that happens when imagination and energy turns something that was not in form into something that is.  Wow!  Now that is magical.  How does it happen?  What is the energy that causes us to imagine something that no one has thought of before and manifest it, making it into a real live objective thing?  What is it we find within us that conveys inspiration to imagine still more possibility and bring about its expression in form?

I propose that that energy, for lack of a better name, is Absolute Perfect Unconditional Love; that it exists in spirit or as the Unmanifest and transcendent until such a time in which someone imagines something with enough intensity as if to practice Its presence.  The Spirit then flows into activity, like electricity into a light bulb, to manifest whatever is imagined.  We can’t see spirit but we sense the evidence for it in the good and the beautiful that we get to experience in the many forms that take shape in the objective world.  In this way, little by little the Transcendent is becoming realized.

More and more the entire world is becoming the expression of humanity.  It didn’t start out that way but here we humans are having taken over the planet.  What will we make of it through the magical ability we possess that manifests what was formally only imagined?  How shall we manage our imagination so that what we hold in mind is what we want to actually manifest.  How shall we focus it and make it potent?  What will be the final outcome of every thought or prayer that we picture?  Can we hold out love, unconditionally, as the ultimate desire we want manifested and hold our attention there?  Thus it is that Santa Claus and his sack of toys for children, for example, can symbolize for us the gifts and giving of the Great Spirit rather than the materialistic focus that that figure typically engenders when we’re not paying attention to unconditional love.

Together, in tentative but inevitable companionship we choose, we decide our future, by choosing what we do with our thinking, and with our attentiveness, in the present.  Can we make a magic tree of thought and prayer, each of us in our minds, that is full of light and energy that will transform our world into one that resembles Heaven?  The Teacher, our great encourager, our representative to the rest of the solar system, is here to set us alight with fiery aspiration.  We burn with hope and expectation that our imagination will not fail us.  Faith.  Hope.  Love.  Joy.  Let the season not be short lived, but rather open the doorway to an eternal heaven that has some how found lodging in our imagination.

Will Treelighter

More attempts to form a magic tree of LEWs (light emitting words) at

You supply the energy to make LEWs light up.

The Magic Tree 2009 Flyer

Welcome to the Magic Tree.  This year marks its 15th year.  It is the 5th year for this approximately 40 year old crab apple.  It takes about 120 hours to put the approximately 75,000 lights (about half of which are energy saving LEDs) on the tree and about 80 hours to take them down again.

Please help keep traffic problems to a minimum and make the many visitors to the Magic Tree tolerable to neighbors by not using your horn after 9pm and not using driveways to turn around in (use loops at ends of 1st and 2nd lefts instead) and car pool whenever possible.  If you live near by, such as in Brookside, perhaps you would consider walking over when traffic is heavy.  The Magic Tree will be turned off at 11pm nightly to cut back on late night loudness and save electricity.

Park across from the Magic Tree perpendicular to the street in the park grass next to the road (please do not drive through the park) instead of on the street so that the way is not blocked for other drivers.  When walking about the tree take care around the footbridge, ditch and electric cords and advise your children not to touch the tree particularly when it is wet (there may be a broken bulb that could pack a shock).

The Magic Tree is for you to enjoy without obligation.  It is not a fundraiser.  However, if you still wish to make a donation, your gifts are appreciated and a donation box is provided and attached to the post under the mail box for your convenience.  As a practice of the Principle of Sharing a portion of your donation will be shared with various charitable organizations.  For more information about those organizations, about the Magic Tree and its purpose and to see pictures of the Magic Tree please visit the Magic Tree website at

The Effulgence of Joy

Effulgence is a wonderful word.  In the mind it conjures the idea of a soft radiant light that actually has substance.  A photon of sunshine is a “mass less particle” but clearly of energetic substance none-the-less.  At a more subtle level so also does an inner spiritual light, found at the center of each being, have an effulgent substance to it that is energized as we become more attentive to its nature.  As it begins to shine within us we can sense it and we feel a subtle joy.  In turn that helps us to see beauty and understand relationships between people and between things with greater clarity.  Thoughts and feelings become better understood as part of the substance (just like our bodies and the rest of the physical world) that we, as souls (a still finer, even spiritual, substance) traverse.

There is a simple “magic” formula for the increase of the effulgent light of the Soul:

see beauty

share your good

have joy.

In this formula it should be noted that joy is not the goal but simply the result of the goal to share what is good.  When we see beauty it is natural to want to share it.  Don’t see any beauty?  Do something kind for someone without any expectation of it being reciprocated.  There is beauty.  We can make it up anytime we want to.

Know the beauty that is within you, share that without expectation, and joy just happens.

As you view the Magic Tree think on this: If you are the beholder and you have the power to see and create beauty wherever you will, what then are you?  What is your true nature, your true self?  Find that and make it manifest – you, who holds the key and stands now ready on the threshold!

The Magic Tree symbolizes the Effulgent Light of the Soul that shines at the center of each being.  This Light is approaching us today in a unique way.  It emerges from within us, if we will be still and watch, share and serve; and simultaneously, It emerges in the world as a Teacher so well attuned to our need (because He is of the very same substance as our souls) that He will be able to potently assist all the willing in ushering in the coming time where all are both teacher and student and love is lived out among humanity in such a way that there will be many people fulfilling the prediction of Christ: “all this that I do shall you do and much more shall you do”.

Will Treelighter


The Magic Tree symbolizes something within.  Something you have always been,

but did not know.

Lifetime upon lifetime awareness grows, cycle after cycle, of the Spirit’s flow,

Through each and all, great and small, yours and all humanity’s, Light.

In your heart warms a fire.  Your mind flashes with sight.

Though the times seem dire, you know something’s right,

and the soul you deem you are

And know you’re not so far from recognition.

Far to go but far we’ve come, and soon we’ll know now is the hour

To be in control of our desire

and guide our way more consciously.

We sense we have response-ability… that can light the Way

If we will but employ… the gifts that we enjoy.

Each moment at a time is all it takes to turn our world on a dime

From disaster to tranquility.

Come forth O Teacher, encourager of souls,

That we may understand and be whole, come into open work.

Our hearts burn with desire to see you and so we turn our thoughts to know ourselves

So to be one with what you are is for what we delve

That we may so share and do what must be done to demonstrate

That we are one and not so lost to seperative thinking.

The magic in the tree is the magic of your soul, responding.

The interplay of mind with heart, the art of meditation, the impetus to stay, pondering

And lose the grievance of argument.

Too many words cover over the Word.

Say what you need to say, quietly give the rest away.

Plant your feet upon the path.  Giving, sharing melts all wrath.

The magic is the “speaking” soul.  No separation.  You, me, all, the whole.


The Magic Tree 2008 Flyer

Welcome to this year’s Magic Tree.  Feel free to get out of the car and come in under the glow of 75,000 lights but please be advised: Watch your step around the ditch, foot bridge and cords and avoid touching the tree particularly when wet.  It is possible to get a sustained shock where a broken bulb is encountered.  Please advise your children.

The tree is a 28 foot tall crab apple approximately 45 years old.  It takes about 120 hours to string the lights on the branches from a variety of ladders and about 80 hours to remove them in the spring for a new year of growth.

This is the 14th year I have lit a tree in the yard having done it the first time in 1995 with a crab apple that stood just outside the front door.  That first year I strung an estimated 3000 lights on the tree making several fingers of lights out to the ends of just the main branches.  Your enthusiasm for the experiment has kept me at it all these years to try and improve the display from one year to the next.

Go to to view pictures I have taken of the tree and surrounding area influenced by its light and to get more information about what motivates me.  I appreciate your responses on the contact page of the site that tell me of your experience of the tree.

Enjoy the tree freely without obligation to make a donation.  A box is located under the mail box on the post for those of you inclined to donate toward support of the expense of lighting the tree.  Many wonder at the cost of electricity used.  It is about $10.00 per night to light the tree from about 5 to midnight and again in the morning for about an hour and a half.  Far out weighing the cost of the power is the purchase of the lights (each year about 30% of the lights need to be purchased anew) especially the energy saving LED lights that this year constitute about one third of the lights on the tree.  This year I will to share 40% of your donations with charities and the private park across the street from the Magic Tree.  The rest I will retain to help with the purchase of lights and power.

The tree will be lit each night through January 6th and again on the 10th and 15th for family birthdays, 18th and 19th for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 28th for family birthday, February 5th for anniversary of the Constitution, 12th for Lincoln’s birthday, 13th and 14th for Valentine’s Day, 17th and 20th for family birthdays and 27th, 28thand March 1st for True/False Film Fest.
The Magic Tree is a celebration of light.  The physical light produced by electric current through filaments and diodes represent light of a more subtle kind, but this more subtle light is a light we depend on for our very life.  The light I speak of is that that causes a face to “light up” with a smile or good work and that light that spreads through the mind when a “bright idea” is brought forth.  There is the light of desire when it is turned toward aspiration of heart felt soul searching and there is the light of the soul, our higher self, which is found when mind, body and emotions are calmed and stilled.

Electric light we could make do without and did up until very recently in the history of humanity.  But this more subtle light that we find within, in a much more crucial way, is the very stuff of life itself.  It is subtle, subjective and sublime and so is easily ignored and even forgotten, taken for granted.  But if we pay attention to it, with our intention, we can build it up bright within us and apply it to light our way in dark times such as now with economic crisis on the rise and extremist groups using fear and the darkness of terror to attempt their agenda.

The Magic Tree will soon be turned off and dismantled for another season but the light we carry within us will keep on growing and growing as we go through our trials with aspiration and hope; as we seek out beauty and goodness (the signature and light of love) where some seem only able to find pessimism and darkness.  As we do this we share a light with each other and shed light on all around that brings joy and peace to a world angry and hurting.

This light must manifest in positive action to remedy the many ills and injustices found around the world today and that are at the crux of world problems.  Poverty, starvation, war and terror go hand in hand.  When we together as a nation and more broadly as the world come together to solve injustices at home and around the globe we will also have solved the problem of terror and the dark forces of war.

It is for this that the Coming One emerges to shine a light on the path ahead for humanity as a group to improve its re-presentation of the Light of Life Itself.   Many from different religions and some that hold to none expect, in some fashion or other, the coming of that One Who embodies the Light of Life Itself as we each in our own way shall some day grow to do as we move into the spiritual light of the soul.

Let the light of the Magic Tree, regardless of race, creed, politics, religion, gender, orientation or age, in some small way symbolize what we are becoming as we tread that lighted path.  Let it represent as well the light of that Great Encourager, the quiet, subtle, subjective, stealthy, but essential, Light of Life Itself as it shines out brightly for any who open the door.

Love’s in Everything, Will Treelighter

These are Days by Rob Buck and Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs:

These are days you’ll remember.  Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.  And as you feel it, you’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky.  It’s true that you are blessed by something that will grow and bloom in you.
These are days you’ll remember.  When May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in every hour.  You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky.  It’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.
These are days.

These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break.  These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face.  And when you do you’ll know how it was meant to be.  See the signs and know their meaning.  It’s true. You’ll know how it was meant to be.  Hear the signs and know they’re speaking to you, to you.

The Magic Tree 2007 Flyer

Fun Facts:

-The tree is a 40 year old Crab Apple about 30 feet tall and wide.

-The lights are wrapped around each branch.

-I use a variety of extension ladders and stepladders to reach all the branches.

-There are over 900 sets of lights on the tree and 17 extension cords running up to the tree.

-There are 76,035 individual lights on the tree.

-17,850 of them (23%) are energy saving LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights.

-The tree has about 7500 more lights on it this year than last year.

-Because of the LEDs two less extension cords are needed and we expect to use less energy.

-Nonetheless we expect it to cost about $200.00 worth of power each full month the tree is lit.

-The biggest expense is in the purchase of LED light sets which range in cost of $7 for a 50 light set to $12 for a 60 light set.

-I started sorting and testing light sets from previous years at the beginning of October.

-I started putting them on the tree in mid October and finished the last branch on November 26th.

-It took over 130 hours of my “spare time” over six weeks to put all the lights up.  It will take about half that time to take them down.  (The lights are not designed to be left up year around.)

-There is now a web site for the Magic Tree:  See fliers and pictures from past years and more information about why I light the tree and the meaning I intend for it.

– The Magic Tree will be lit each night from about 5pm till 11:30pm through Epiphany (January 6th).  Other dates I plan to turn it on for are January 10, 15, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, February 14, 17, 18, 20, 28, 29, March 1and 2.

-Please feel free to get out of your car and walk in under the tree or sit on the near by benches to just take it in.
-Take photos if you like.

-The Magic Tree is not about collecting donations.  Your donations, however, if you are so inclined, are very much appreciated and make in particular the purchase of the expensive LED lights easier to manage.  A donation box is located on the mail box post directly beneath the mail box on the slanted support board.  Thanks.

– Again this year to practice the principle of sharing, 10% of donations will go to the Columbia chapter of The Alternatives to Violence Project, an additional 10% will go to Ryan’s Well and a third 10% (new for this year) will go to Norvell Park (the neighborhood private park across the street from the Magic Tree).  The other 70% of donations will go toward the purchase of lights and electricity for the Magic Tree.  More information about the above groups can be found through the Magic Tree web site.
Why do I light the Magic Tree?  I started 13 years ago on a whim just wanting to do something different.  I did just a few branches all the way out to the ends and then doubling back till I ran out the set of lights.  People who saw it that first year told me they liked it and each year since I have tried to make a bigger and better display than the year before.  Your comments have spurred me on.

When my arms and shoulders ache from reaching for the branches or I’m feeling the cold or sensing a bit of over obsessiveness, knowing how much people appreciate the tree helps me keep going.  I also sometimes think of an experience I had with a tree and hope that perhaps the Magic Tree might also generate for some a similar experience.

I was still in college and on my way up the hill to class on an early February morning.  There was a fog and a thick mist falling.  My days in college and pretty much anywhere at that time were punctuated with bouts of anxiety attacks that would make my heart palpitate and skip beats which of course would make me even more anxious.  I had asthmatic attacks too; and insomnia because I couldn’t turn my mind off enough to go to sleep.  You see, I had concerns about the state of affairs the world was in and about my place in the world, and what I could do – basically – to…um…save? the world for God.

My parents were ministers and this left me feeling like God wanted me to do something for Him.  I wanted to make a difference but I was really letting the desire get the best of me.  In college I studied philosophy and religion and was trying everything on for size as I studied it.  While this gave me many insights it tended to make me feel even more crazy with anxiety over my place in the world and what I could do to save it from all the suffering and injustices, the anger and the pain and the fear, the very anxiety that I felt.

I loved to play pinball at the student union, but the awareness that I was wasting time would spike my anxiety and make me have to go lie down and try to calm myself for fear I would die of a heart attack or something because of the skipping heartbeats and short breath.  I felt like a fish out of water.  I kept this all inside of me though.  No one knew.  I kept a calm exterior while inside I was self destructing.  Occasionally I would try to tell someone about it, but I don’t think anyone really got what I was going through because I didn’t show it on the outside.

So this is the state of mind that had been building in me for years now, since my latter days of high school, as I walked up the hill to class on this early February morning.  I stopped at the bottom of the steps up to the building and looked across the way and there was this great white pine tree that had grown so tall that it was bent at the top where the wind blew up over the building it was in front of.  Down lower on the tree long reaching branches grew first one way and a then little higher up another way.  I could see nothing beyond the tree for the fog was enveloping it and the mist was blowing in gusting waves across it and the tree swayed to and fro and suddenly… my mind stopped.  It just became very still and quiet.  The anxiousness left me.  The machinations of trying to figure everything out were just gone.  The site of the tree in the blowing mist and fog was so beautiful I couldn’t take it all in with out stopping everything else going on inside of me.  So I did, I guess – it was automatic. I just stopped.
And then, I heard a voice, literally as though it were coming from the tree but was inside my head, yet out loud, and it said something like: “Everything is okay just the way it is, you don’t have to fix anything, there is nothing you need to do.”  I felt a tremendous relief and then…I wiped my eyes and went to class.

I decided to cultivate the awareness of what the voice had said by intentionally quieting myself through meditation and also by just noticing beauty wherever I could find it around me.  I did this especially whenever I felt some anxiety coming on and within several months all the physical symptoms of the anxiety that had been building up for years had subsided and has never come back.
I guess I hope the Magic Tree has a similar effect on those who need it although I know that each individual has a unique need and has unique inner resources to address the need.  We need to remember that even when something appears to be coming from outside of us that it is really there within us otherwise it could not come to us at all.  This is true of the slightest matter of perhaps our next thought or the stupendous advent of the Expected One’s emergence in full bodily form into our midst.  It is true also of what we give out, how it comes back to us, because at one level we all share in the same larger Self.  When we real-ize this the importance of doing diminishes and simply being the larger aspect of what we are becomes primary.  The doing that naturally will come out of us (for it is our nature to do) then becomes more genuinely from the True Self and serves the Whole.
So, let’s guard our thoughts, words and actions knowing that what we put out there contributes to the Whole.  But rest in awareness that the good that comes to us is ours already to receive.

Consider this quote from Franz Kafka:

“You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, It has not choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

We live in a great nation (a sub group of the Whole).  How well it would be if we as a nation would stop, wait and listen, being “quiet, still and solitary”.  Would the world then come to us and “roll in ecstasy at our feet”?  The fight will have gone out of it because we banished the fight from ourselves.  Then the fact that we are a nation characterized at the heart by love will be revealed and Peace that passes all understanding will reign.

It begins with each of us taking it upon ourselves to be what we are, to stop, wait and listen, being quiet, still and solitary even in the face of anxiousness and strife.  There are various tools for doing this. You may already have yours.  Some of them are prayer, meditation, a walk in the woods, or simply noticing the beauty around you and in the unlikely places.  These tools, especially potent when combined, are keys that unlock the doorways and windows into our deeper, hidden nature. Use them and encourage others to do so and eventually we will live in a peaceful nation in a peaceful world because we have banished strife, fear and worry from ourselves to reveal the love that is the reality of what we are at heart.  The actions we give out to others from that place will only encourage liberty, justice and well being for all peoples of the entire world.

Love’s in Everything

Beauty is in Everything

It is the signature of love

Look for it.  Ask for it to be revealed.

You will see it,

Will Treelighter

P.S.  1/30/10  I just attended an lecture by Nalini Nadkami about trees.  Please see her website:

The Magic Tree 2006 Flyer

There are approximately 68,500 individual lights on the tree. This represents a substantial increase over last years 47,000 lights. I ran into problems with having enough power for them in spite of the fact we have 8 dedicated 20 amp circuits. I had to run auxiliary extension cords from the shop building and the garage to spread the power to more circuits. I doubt I’ll put that many on it again. We need to have a little power left over for our household needs!

This year I included some LED lights (3270 individual lights) for the first time. They add another dimension of color – the bright blue and purple, and use much less energy. I hope to increase the percentage of lights that are LEDs each year I light the tree.
There are a few sets of hand painted lights on the tree – an experiment from several years back to achieve a greater variety of color. In all there are more than 20 discernible variations of color distributed through out the tree.

The tree is powered by a total of eleven 20 amp circuits, eight of them dedicated. It is plugged into 19 outlets having 19 extension cords running up to it with some additional short cords in the tree to make convenient places to plug in the light sets. I find that no more than 72 sets of conventional mini lights can be safely plugged into one 20 amp circuit and that’s pushing it!
The tree is approximately 30 feet tall. It took well over 100 hours to put the lights on and will take about half that time to take them down again.

We purchased about 250 new sets of mini lights this year as well as 60 sets of LEDs for the Magic Tree. The rest of the lights are from years past.

The Magic Tree will be lit from 5pm ’till at least 10:30pm weekdays and until midnight on weekends until January 6th. It will be lit again on the 10th, 14th, 15th and 18th and on February 1st , 2nd, 13th, 14th, 17th and 20th.

The Magic Tree is not a fund raiser for anything. It is put up purely for your enjoyment. It is free. Feel free to take photographs and to get out of the car to view it up close and walk around it. Please be careful of the extension cords and do not touch it particularly if it is wet – advise your children.

No donation is requested, however a donation box is provided (attached to the mailbox post) for those of you so motivated.
10 % of all donations will be given to The Alternatives To Violence Project here in Columbia, a group I have been involved with for many years. Its main work is to do 3 day workshops in Boonville and Jefferson City prisons, about 30 per year. The workshops are designed to build community among inmates and point out the value of good will toward one another through experiential activities, discussions, and role playing the use of Transforming Power. For more info go to

An additional 10 % will go to Ryan’s Well Foundation. This group, started by the enthusiasm of a 6 year old, has so far built over 225 wells and provided over 375′000 families and entire communities in Africa with clean water. For more info go to
The rest we will use to offset the cost of lighting the Magic Tree.

I hope you are blessed all year long and find ways to share your blessing and spread it around.

Will Treelighter

I Am the Silence in which you hear all sounds. Notice them and the space between and you notice me.

I Am the Light with which you see all things illuminated in all their various shapes and colors.

I Am the Voice still and small that is speaking to you at all times. Quiet yourself and listen.

I Am the Beauty that adorns all things for those with eyes that see.

I Am the Love in every heart regardless of race or creed and religious or political orientations.

I Am the frustration, pain and desperation in the terrorist that hides regard for life.

I Am Life Itself. I quench your thirst. There is nothing you need do but walk with me.

I Am the Truth that resonates in your heart and calls to you to know me.

I Am the Word from the beginning that is written upon your soul. Turn there in quiet repose, reflective.

I Am Wisdom, the currency of Spirit, more valuable then diamonds and gold.

I Am the Intelligent Power resident to every atom making up your physical presence and all material reality.

I Am the Will to Good expressed through your activity.

I Am the Space in which I created all the universe. Judgment is mine. You may leave it be.

I Am transcendent of all concepts you can entertain of me yet I am your closest intimate.

I Am Grace. Rest in me.

Teachers and books point the way to me, but you must come to me yourself and alone and I will make you friend to all.

I Am a trumpeter sounding out tidings of great joy. Hear me.

I Am come to you this day from within you and all about you. Be my hands and feet. Be my heart and mind. Be my presence for those who know me not.

See me in your neighbor. See me in your “enemy”. See me on the horizon. See me about the world.

I Am come to you to inspire, encourage, and show the way into a future of glory and grace, where no day is like another.  Plunge in:

“I Am Creator of the Universe.

I Am Father and Mother of the Universe.

Everything came from me.

Everything shall return to me.

Mind, Spirit and Body are my temples

For the Self to realize in them

My Supreme Being and Becoming.”*

These words are yours. If you are willing, keep them in your heart and know Me and the Self.

*The stanza in quotes is attributed to the World Teacher and is released by Him for humanity’s use.

The Magic Tree 2005 Flyer

Fun Facts:

The Magic Tree is a crab apple tree and has approximately 470 sets of 100 lights for a total of 47,000 individual lights.
Each set is 40 watts for a total of 18,800 watts.  (Embarrassing for someone who goes around the house turning out lights that aren’t needed in order to save energy.)

The lights are plugged into 12 extension cords that in turn are plugged into 16 available outlets powered through eight 20-amp circuits on 4 timers.

The Magic Tree is lit from 4:30 to 10:30 each evening later on Christmas and New Years.

It took 70 – 80 hours to install the lights and will take an additional 35 – 40 hours to take them down and put them away.
A box (attached to mailbox post) is provided for those who wish to contribute toward offsetting the cost of lighting the Magic Tree.
It is pure joy to light it.  I hope you find joy as you look into it.  And take joy with you as you drive away remembering it.  This is the first year I have lit this tree.  In the past it was always the tree by the front door but it is now almost completely dead and has lost many of its branches.  I don’t think it is the lighting that killed it because I’ve lost other trees of the same variety that I had never put lights on.

Each tree is different.  If all trees were exactly the same there would be little beauty in them for beauty arises out of contrast and differentiation.  Even each tree is in constant flux and change renewing itself every year a little larger, a little stronger until it grows old and dies.  Indeed even in death the naked limbs of an old crag of a tree can be a beautiful sight particularly when the sun’s light falling on it highlights it at sunrise or sunset.

I light this tree to highlight its beauty, its uniqueness.  I light it differently each year to keep the beauty of the lighting fresh and interesting.  It is one small way I can contribute to the eternal yet ever changing expression that is that of the Creator, that One that is perhaps best characterized by Absolute Perfect Unconditional Love.  It is the power of this One that motivates every one of us.  It is how we choose to express the energy that this motivation produces that is up to us.  But there is only one ultimate source.  To say otherwise is to deny the absoluteness of the One.

I do rarely, if ever, express well the true nature of this Great Being.  But I suspect it is our purpose to do the best we can and grow in our ability to give expression of that Absolute Perfect Unconditional Love that runs in our veins just as surely as It runs through all the cosmos.  Just as evident and predictable as the sun’s light shining without condition and with perfect and absolute scientific lawfulness as we spin through space is the Love we have often called God.

How shall we little ones reflect such great love?  The World Teacher says “Share and save the world”.  The most beautiful and loving expressions are those that are acts of sharing.  Such acts give off light that warms the soul with joy.  If we did a scientific study I’m sure we would verify that sharing unfailingly produces joy while holding and hoarding produces fear and unease.

How shall we little ones share?  The ways are infinite for each of us.  It can be as small as the simple kindness of a smile for a stranger passing by or a quick thought of blessing for someone we see is suffering.  And it can be as big as a nation of people bound together under one banner supporting a program like the Peace Corp that shares the talents of its members and resources of its nation with those outside its borders who are in need.

How much joy would we have if we supported the Peace Corp with the same gusto and bravado that we support our military with?  Would we be the richer for it?  If we went to our enemies with helping hands would there be as many people out there that are so without hope that they become suicide bombers?  Does the sun’s light feel warm on the skin?

Thanks to all those who put their lives on the line so we at home in our nation can light our trees and have a merry Christmas.  We as a nation go to war because we love and want to secure our loved ones.  Let’s not question the love or the motivation but let’s question the means and its effectiveness.  And let’s question how inclusive we can be in our love.  How big is our love?  How many can we enfold?  Is it only big enough for “us” or can we enclose “them” as well and how may we do it?  I suggest we can, we will, and we must if we are to save a world for our great, great grand children that resembles anything close to one we ourselves would want to live in.

There is so much joy in sharing.  We must not shrink in fear from it.  Who will lead us politically on this crucial path?  This cannot be a religious crusade.  These are far too exclusive.  All must be included.  Who will lead this great nation of diverse and beautiful people?  Who can inspire us, “We The People” to do what must be done as a group, as a nation and as the whole world?
We have spent so many lives and indebted ourselves beyond imagination not in sharing but by clinging in fear trying to protect our way of life.  It is time we changed our tact (or lack there of!)

The World Teacher at another time suggested that “you will know them by their fruits”.  Terror, I suggest, is a fruit that drops from our own national tree; the results, at least in part, of overt and covert actions taken by our government and corporations, not to mention the everyday small mean actions that we all engage in.)  Until we own our contribution to terrorism we won’t take wise and appropriate action to undo it.  Such wise and appropriate action, I think, when it comes will look a lot like sharing our resources on an unprecedented scale and making friends with our accusers on our way to court!  The joy in the release of tensions by the exhibition of good will, will steal the flame from the fire of terror.

I dedicate this year’s Magic Tree to all who value kindness and the vision of a nation that undoes its enemies through sharing our resources whether they be goods, services, technical know how, or simply an effort toward greater understanding of the issues that divide us so that we can address them with good will.  That’s where the terror will end and untold joys begin.

Will Treelighter

The Magic Tree 2004 Flyer

The Magic Tree is a crab apple tree with approximately 30,000 lights (300 sets of mini-lights). I use six 20 amp circuits on 3 timers, 8 extension cords with 3 way outlet splitters with additional short cords with splitters up into the tree. It takes 40-50 hours to put up the lights and about half that time to take them down again. If the lights were left up all year they would fade and I wouldn’t be able to change the color scheme each year which is part of the joy of putting them up.

When choosing a color scheme I try to limit the number of colors I use to 4 major colors but I add additional colors for accent. I put 2 or 3 sets of the same color together for greater differentiation of the colors when viewed from a distance. Bright colors like yellow and clear need fewer sets together. I like to intermix in old faded sets of lights with newer ones of the same color to give variation in the shades.

I’ve been lighting this tree for perhaps 8 or 10 years. I don’t recall the exact year I started. This will likely be the last year I light this particular tree because it has been slowly dying over the last few years and has now reached a point where there are noticeably fewer branches than in past years. There are other good candidates in the yard however. Some suggest that it’s the lights that could be killing it but it is exhibiting the same behavior as several other crabapples in the yard that have never had lights on them so I don’t think it is the lights.

Whatever you see in the magic tree is a reflection of what is inside you.

I hope you see beauty for beauty is everywhere present for those with eyes to see it. And beauty, I believe, is the signature of love, which is also everywhere present. Seeing beauty then is seeing the evidence of the presence of love and if you can see it then it is also within you. (“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)

We have all heard that God is best characterized as unconditional love and that we have been created in that image. The birth of Christ into the world represents God taking physical form. Every time we see beauty be it in physical objects or in interpersonal relationships or in the beneficent actions of others, love is born anew in the world, in our hearts and minds. And if God is love….
Go into labor to bring the evidence of love in the world to the forefront. If we each in our own way do this then the world will be a very beautiful and diverse place (for there is little beauty in uniformity). Some are already at work but more workers from all walks of life and religious paths are needed.

I believe America at its core is characterized by love as all nations and people ultimately are. It is only fear that blinds our eyes to seeing it. I look forward to the day when Americans set aside fear in favor of love and start in earnest to beautify our world through wise loving action toward even our enemies. I’ll leave it to you to choose the time and the way in which you participate but just looking for beauty in unusual places is a good start. I hope the Magic Tree is an inspiration.

The Magic Tree is like a chalice overflowing. I hope that while looking at it you experience your cup of hope, peace, love and joy overflowing for just a moment. It expresses how love is constantly overflowing out of everything and we can have the eyes to see it when we set aside our fear or hatred or negative judgments of others or ourselves.

It is important to recognize that even these negative emotions are based in love. When we fear it is generally about losing something we love. When we look closely at why we hate we most likely find it is because someone or something is confounding our desire or attempt to express love. Again when we judge negatively it is ultimately by comparison to something we feel would be a better expression of love.

Knowing that love is behind even the negative emotions it becomes easier to feel positively towards those who harbor these emotions. But beware of those who use hate or fear to persuade you to their view and to support their cause. This is what terrorism is made of (a pretty poor expression of love.)  Don’t allow fear and hate to take root in your particular denomination of Christianity or other religion. We don’t need it in our politics either. Guard against it lovingly and if it has taken root, rout it out.
Looking with eyes that see we can see love oozing out of every nook and cranny of our world. When we see it, love becomes easier for us to express ourselves. This I believe is our purpose; to express love in ever more accurate ways until we have made heaven on earth.

“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” and see.

Wishing you well in the ultimate of endeavors, may you find renewed hope, peace, love and joy in all your relations overflowing till all of America is infected and leads the world in justice and peacemaking for all.