Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Kindness of Trees

Row upon row 
of Bodhisattvas,
they stand -
green, peaceful warriors,
kind, gentle beings,
habitat for birds
and wild creatures -
patiently absorbing our carbon,
breathing out healing oxygen
and peace.
Walking the trails,
we are transported
to a world of silent well-being.
Holding hands under the forest floor,
they send each other messages
of hope and support.
They tell the others
we have arrived.
They stand, listening,
watching us with benevolent smiles,
spreading their arms protectively
to shelter us.
We enter their world of green
and emerge transformed.

And in return,
they ask only
that we let them live.

In Tofino, as everywhere, the trees are falling to make way for more and more of us. Wildlife are being pushed to the margins, displaced, hungry, seeking shelter. I learned recently that only trees 25 years old or more absorb carbon. So even replanting doesn't replace the job mature trees do. We cannot lose the old growth. Trees are what lie between us and intolerable heat. They help us live.


  1. You had me at "Bodhisattvas." When we take the image of man off our eyeballs (a quote from Alice Walker's THE COLOR PURPLE)--we find allies and kindnesses and those to whom we can give--EVERYWHERE. Thank you for this poem, a kindness indeed.

  2. A beautiful poem, trees are so wonderful.

  3. Holding hands under the forest floor, they send each other messages. So beautiful. I am very disheartened by the logging of old growth trees.

  4. Ah, if only we would pay heed to the kindness of these gentle trees and the nature at large and be grateful to them, we may actually be able to control the damage that we have done.
    It's a wonderful poem, Sherry! :-)

  5. Despite deforestation, overuse of water resources, killing fauna and flora and polluting the seas mankind just cannot see we are endangering our own lives as we are so greedy and do we need the whole world to be healthy.

  6. That final stanza goes right for the heart. The shape of it--how short it is compared to the rest of the poem--increases its impact. It emphasizes how much we get from trees, and how little they ask for.

  7. Much beauty and truth here - if only it could be more widely understood.

  8. It's true.. we are a horrible species undeserving of the kindness of nature...

  9. Trees are especially kind They are our lungs Such a beautiful poem I love "Holding hands under the forest floor"
    Hopefully we start to listen to the trees to let them live

  10. "Bodhisattvas" they are. Divine and in deep meditation. We are so vile that we take them for granted and in a headlong dash we're killing them. Kind Nature still tolerates us. This is height of kindness. So beautifully put.

  11. Trees ask for so little, as your last stanza expressed, but they give so much. I love picturing them holding hands in the forest. We can learn....

  12. This is so heart wrenching Sherry. Trees give us so much, and what do we give them? I was not aware that older trees are the ones that absorb carbon.

  13. Thanks for that end note, Sherry, about the 25-year-old trees. This world actually needs its old beings: old people, old pathways, old trees.

  14. What Susan said! I love the idea of trees as Bodhisattvas! I can hear the vow in each movement of the trees' lives that you so vividly describe!


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