Tag Archives: trees

These Trees

Carmel at the Santa Lucia Preserve, an idyllic retreat among lichen dripping oaks, green slopes, vistas, birds, deer, and coyote. The alive ecosystem of the coastal environment is present in a vital way to this tired body.  Yesterday’s wedding already a fading memory. The Barn, the view of the mountains for the ceremony, the relaxed vibe, all a part of me now, but I’m present in this moment without reflection on yesterday.

It’s all about the trees here. The way they stand in artistic poses and profound presence. They are peace and calm.

And the quiet! It seems they are thinking deep thoughts, still becoming more. It is a vital pervading mood that permeates – introspective and wise.

I am out with the trees now. Sweet soft breeze. They receive what’s offered with such grace. Later there will be a wild wind and a hot sun, and they will provide respite for some winged ones. They will shelter dozing deer, and yawning coyotes. They will talk to their brethren and commune with the others. Later still they will enjoy a moon bath and stellar sparkling light on their leaves. Their roots will reach deeper into the earth and their crown to the heavens with their hearts wide open to all that is. These trees.

 

 

 

 

Remembering How to Be

“If you ever find yourself empty from something you cannot know or name, find a stretch of ocean, a field, or mountainside, or even clouds or trees. Because there are 1,000 simple ways to fill your tired soul so you can remember how to be, how to see, and most importantly, how to breathe.”

-Victoria Erickson

Sunrise over the Ocean

Clouds 2014

Revealing the Eternal

“Respect the man of noble races other than your own, who carries out, in a different place, a combat parallel to yours — to ours.  He is your ally.  He is our ally, be he at the other end of the world. Love all living things whose humble task is not apposed in any way to yours, to ours:  men with simple hearts, honest, without vanity and malice,

Tiger's Nest, Prayer Flags, Bhutanese Man

and all the animals, because they are beautiful, without exception and with exception indifferent to whatever idea there may be. Love them, and you will see the eternal in the glance of their eyes of jet, amber, or emerald.

Red Fox

Love also the trees,

The Preserve, One Tree

the plants,

White Flowers

the water that runs through the meadow and on to the sea without knowing where it goes;

Soft-Stream-in-the-Forest-1024x680

love the mountain,

Glacier National Park, Long View, Stream, Mountain, Big Sky, Clouds

the desert,

Bryce, HooDoos6

the forest,

Summer Forest with Soft Light copy

 

the immense sky, full of light or full of clouds;  because all these exceed man and reveal the eternal to you”

-Savitri Devi

Rainbow Sky

 

Trees are Temples & Forests are Cathedrals

The Preserve, Trees2
“When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, …and the doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?”
–   Seneca  

 

The Preserve, Light Prisms

 “Going to the woods is going home.”

-John Muir  

The Preserve, Trees3

“My roots are in the depths of the woods.”   
–   Galle  

 The Preserve, Acorn

To me, nature is sacred;  trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals.”
–  
Mikhail Gorbachev

The Preserve, Trees5

Tree of Life

“And love is smiling through all things.”

-Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Tall Trees, Blue Sky with Sun Star

 “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Cypress, Silver Springs

 

“There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”Owl in Tree

-Martin Luther

 

We All Travel the Milky Way Together

We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.”

-John Muir, The Mountains of California

Carl Sagon - trees

 

The tree pictured below is traveling the same Milky Way as the rest of us, and as Carl Sagan says, “down deep, at the molecular heart of life” shares essentially the same components that make up we humans.  I would love to feel the energy of this tree!

It is 3,200 years old and so massive it was impossible to get the whole tree into one photograph. This majestic giant sequoia is called The President and is located in California’s Sierra Nevada.  It is 247 feet tall, 27 feet in diameter, and the article I read said it holds some 2 billion needles – the most of any tree on our planet.  The tree is still growing, adding one cubic meter of wood per year!

This photo was quite an endeavor and labor of love requiring a pulley system with levers for climbers and requiring 32 days and 126 separate photos that are pieced together. (the little tiny red dot at the bottom of the picture is a person!)

giant

 

Listen to the Trees – A Gallery of Photos

This morning’s tree song was mesmerizing.  Their movement and expression held me.  Swaying, bending, rustling, growing, being.  I hung out with them for a long time, seeing with my heart and feeling with my eyes.  Still , I watched through the window as they danced…

Then, as if by magic, I found these words by Hermann Hesse that I’d never read before.  He understood the dancing, singing, and wisdom filled trees.

At the end of the words by Hesse is my gallery of trees…

Tall Trees, Blue Sky with Sun Star“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farm boy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

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The Gift of the Trees

Night Sky, January

Out here in the woods, the tree dance brings a welcome, hearty, and ever changing song.

Season to season they stand in place and in witness of all of life’s wonder – a constant teaching.

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 “A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship.  But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.                      -John Muir

 

February 7

“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive.  When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is  truly important becomes whole and sound again.  When men reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery