Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If a Tree Could Talk

I photographed this beauty, the Hanging Garden Tree, on the Tall Tree Trail on Meares Island, Clayoquot Sound, where I spent the ten most glorious years of my life. Standing in front of it was a more spiritual experience than I ever had in any church or cathedral.

If a tree could talk, it would tell you about endurance,
how it stands fast and deeply rooted when the winter wind
bends and lashes its branches,
holding firm to the knowledge that after the storm,
the calm will come again.

It would discuss its place in the scheme of things,
being a link between earth and sky,
necessary, contributing to and connected to all.
It would tell you there is no microbe so small,
nor entity so large,
that is not equal in importance in its position
in the circle of life.

If a tree could talk,
it would have to talk about beauty,
knowing its loveliness graces the world,
but that it always remembers that the stink weed, too,
inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen,
and thus is as worthy of respect,
is as necessary to all creatures that breathe.
And it would say that everything that breathes
is worthy of existing, and has the right to live its life
without interference.

You might ask it how it feels
when it hears the loud chainsaws coming closer,
and it would reply that all of its leaves tremble
and that it quivers inside
with a terrible terror,
for there are so few left of the Old Ones,
they harbor and shelter so much life;
they are needed.

Before you leave, you might really look
at this tree's beauty
and relevance in the grand scheme of things.
Perhaps whisper a "thank you" as you turn away
for its thousand years of surviving
in perfect peace and most excellent contribution
to the eternal circle of life.


  1. I enlarged the photo after reading this, Sherry, and I could feel so many things while looking into the hanging garden tree, I can never express them all. The connection between a British Columbian and these Old Ones is visceral and spiritual.
    "Perhaps whisper a "thank you" ... "for its thousand years of surviving in perfect peace."
    So beautiful.

  2. What we (humans) are doing is very rapidly coming back to bite us, hard in so many ways Sherry. I just hope whomever inherits this planet after humans have destroyed every living thing on it, that they take much better care of it than we ever have since we became 'civilised'
    With you all the way on this, we're only here because of the earth that feeds us and keeps us, she is so sick now.
    I saw on our news today that thousands more birds just dropped out of the sky again! The Northern Lights are further south than they've ever been seen... Change is happening, whether we want it, or not, our global warming has only helped to speed it all up.

  3. Sherry- This is breath-taking. I love trees. The stanza about the chainsaws made me shudder.

  4. I love this!

    Thanks for posting the Red Shoes Book!

  5. Oh Yes!
    I talk to the trees, too, Sherry. My property is lush with Mesquites, Acacias, Palo Verdes and a few Ironwoods. None grow to too tall, but what etories thry tell.

  6. You have really gotten into the heart and soul of the tree, Sherry. Beautiful poem and photo!

  7. Sherry, here in Madison we actually still hug trees. They are so easily overlooked, yet they provide us with food for our lungs. I've been marveling at the color changes here, but this specimen you have in your picture is unbelievable. I could sit and meditate on it for hours. Lovely. Peace, Amy

  8. A lovely tabernacle...that mighty tree preaches a sermon on survival we all should heed


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!