Monday, April 22, 2013


The great bare tree I look directly at as I type, is softening, filling out, a little like a young woman in the third month of pregnancy.  But this tree has undergone this transformation for maybe 50 years, soon it will be a mass of green and I will not see the sky between it's branches.

Not everyone  has what I consider an appropriate appreciation of trees.  A couple of day ago I was walking in a suburb and noticed a graceful dogwood tree in flower. "How beautiful!" I said. The man who happened to be walking beside me said, "Yes but it will be ordinary soon."  He said that!!! 

Outside my bedroom window is a generally nondescript forsythia. It fills the window with gold, especially early in the morning.  The gold will give way to green leaves in a couple of week. But for now, King Midas has touched that bush by my window.  And he has touched forsythia all over town, in ones and twos or in whole hedges.  "How beautiful!" 

I saw a movie years ago called simply Himalaya -- independent, small, French. It took place in a town high in the mountains of northwestern  Nepal, above the tree line. There a lama drew a tree on  stone, with another stone for a pen. His little brother asked what it was.  "A tree. I have never seen one, nor have you."  It was a stylized tree, but had the essence of "tree".  The people of that desolate village over 12,000 feet high, gathered salt and took bags of it to trade at an Indiana village to the south, much lower.  Lama and boy accompanied the traders - there they saw trees.  The high point, or me at least, of the movie.

 The folllowing poem "Lost" by David Wagoner is one I should that friend.

Stand still.  The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost.  Whevere you are is called Here.
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger.
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes.  Listen.  It anwers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back  again, saying Here.
No two trrees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
It what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost.  Stand still.  The forest knows
Where you are.  You must let it find you.

1 comment:

rraine said...

the young man's comment about the tree being ordinary soon was very buddhist. the glass is already broken, the ship that has set out to sea has already sunk.