When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."
I wonder if trees are the true heroes of the world. Mostly they are in the background of sagas, fables, and myths. Now and then they rise to prominence, such as in the movies Lord of the Rings and Prince Caspian. The trees move, fight, and are on the good guy team. I don’t think though that we’ll ever see them as McDonald Happy Meal toys or action figures under the Christmas Tree. Ah, see that, there is a celebrated tree whose reverence dates back thousands of years when we prayed to trees and they responded.
When I was a small child I went to the woods. I would sing to the birds and to trees and would be at rest for a while. These were prayers of gratitude and a heart’s call to be one with them. In the rush of my days, I believe I forget this except when I am purposively on a nature walk, meditating in nature, or have been part of a conservation team studying parrots in some towering tropical tree. Deep down though I believe that here has not been a forgetting, for my subconscious knows that trees, at least for one such as me born in the southeast of the U.S.A, hold up my world with hope and beauty. Let me leave these words and go hug a tree in the morning light.
What do you think/feel when you hug a tree?