I have a treat for those of you who don't live near rainforests. This big fellow, and the ones below, live in the forests in the Pacific Rim National Park, a peninsula alongside the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Across the harbour from Tofino is the big island called Meares Island, whose mountains face the village and create its harbour. On Meares, there is a fantastic trail called the Tall Tree Trail, which winds among some of the biggest tree giants still alive on the planet.
This is the Hanging Garden Tree, named because of the many and various life forms that grow upon and hang off of her. I wrote a poem about her, called In the Presence of the Sacred, which can be found here : http://stardreamingwithsherrybluesky.blogspot.com/2010/06/mandarin-moon.html
because in her presence, I felt a spirituality stronger than anything I have ever experienced in a church. And because, as a mother of four, I identify with her strength and endurance, giving life to other life forms, staying strong and steady to nurture life..
These photos were taken ten years ago, when I had these lovely creatures out every window, and along every forest trail - miles of trails within the park, all full of peaceful presences covered with moss and fern, some trunks so big it takes a circle of people holding hands around it to encircle their girth.
A medium-sized one.
There is a wonderful smell in the forest, air clean and fresh, pungent and primeval, with only the ocean breezes to color it, no smells of vehicles or industry - just clean, breathing air from these divine presences, inhaling our carbon dioxide, exhaling our precious and necessary oxygen. It is the damage to the air and the ozone that makes me the most upset, in all that is happening on this short-sighted planet.
Working among the First Nations people for eight and a half years, they taught me as they were taught by their ancestors : in every decision, one must think about how it will affect our
descendants, to the seventh generation.
Aboriginal wisdom we non-aboriginals should heed and respect, for it is earth-wisdom, from those who have lived in balance with and respected Mother Nature for centuries.
When a tree falls naturally in the forest, it becomes a nurse-log, which decomposes and in turn nourishes life on its trunk and all around it, over time.
Me, among my brethren.
A twisty trunk. Some of the trees along the outernmost edge of the forest, facing the sea, and recipient of the harsh winter winds, show their tenacity in withstanding the constant battering. They may all lean backwards, their branches bent and knotted. Yet they endure. I don't have any photos of them at hand this moment. Would be worth a photo shoot this winter:)
I love imagining little hobbits curling up in these hollows. Or perhaps fairies or gnomes....or, more prosaically, rabbits and chipmunks.
And down the path and away, until another day.
I still live only an hour and a half from these miraculous tree beings, and count that among my many blessings!