Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Nature of Trees

What is it of the natures of trees that we find them so wondrous?

For what reason do we fashion them into metaphors and myths?

The tree of life. The tree of knowledge. Wood nymphs and dryads. Ents and sylvans. 

Why do we find them so majestic? For what purpose do we imagine they speak? From where do we assume their strength and wisdom?

Is it their sheer breadth? The awe-inspiring grandeur of the massive oak or towering sequoia, and the thought that even the smallest of these we find could one day become so tremendous?

Is it the bark which clothes them, finely spun, in ever undulating patterns that rub roughly against well-worn fingertips?

Or is it their lines and curves-- the stark perpendicularity of a proud pine against the gentle arc of a spreading willow?

Perhaps it is the voice of the wind as it plays through the gentle leaves overhead and the glimmers of gold amidst the quaking leaves.

Do we envy the stability of their roots, that strong anchor against whatever storm may come? Is this why an uprooted giant is mourned as such a tragedy?

Is it the cool shade they provide, their abode for birds and other small creatures, their gift of aesthetic beauty? Do we see in them humble generosity?

Perhaps we sense in them a timelessness, their slowly unfolding growth a contrast to our fleeting journeys across these spaces, and we take comfort in knowing their steadfast presence at this very moment in their place no matter where our feet may take us.

Or, perchance, they simply remind us to stop, stand still and be.

All photos by Kara Haberstock, all rights reserved

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