Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Everytime we go to Galena I make sure I visit these trees,
a row of old oaks that stand guard over the farmer's creek.
I have loved them through all seasons
watching them dress and undress
Galant gentlmen of nature.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them,
whoever knows how to listen to them,
can learn the truth.
They do not preach learning and precepts,
they preach undeterred by particulars,
the ancient law of life.

...Herman Hesse,

I love the ancient oaks.
When I can I stop and touch their trunks
caress their bark
whisper to their leaves
my questions of what they have endured
what they have witnessed
what they have suffered
But they can only tell me
by showing
their broken branches
their hacked up limbs
their fallen comrades
and I grieve for their losses
But I take hope in their God given
urge to go on
produce acorns
watch their seedlings
nearby that have heard the call of the mighty
and have pushed their way through soil
and rock under the watchful eye of their kind
May they remain long enough
to cast a shadow
I love the ancient oaks.
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  1. ...and biches, and beech and balsams, and maples...suz, this is a lovely post. very grounding. thanks.

  2. oh yes all the trees..but I love grandfathers and I think of oaks as grandfathers....

  3. The photo and your words really touch my heart---created a yearning for something but I don't know what. Maybe to just feel more connected to the earth.
    Do you know Barb Ryan?? She was the bearer of bad news at AW last week---her son and daughter-in-law have 10 month old twins and the daughter-in-law just found out that she has cancer. Such sad news.

  4. suz, i think of tree as witnesses too. i'll take a closer look after reading your story.

    yesterday i read your #6 tale to my honey and he said, 'she wrote that? wow!' (and he's a man of few words), girl....i'm cheering you on!

  5. Looks like you got a bit of respite in your Galena. I too love oaks as well as other gallant trees. Your words are beautiful and cast a loving shadow.

  6. I was in Grass Valley last week and it sounds like you are describing our special place in the foothills of the Sierras.

    We have four lovely ancients oaks in our yard. They were all starting to leaf out.

    Have a nice day.

  7. "I have loved them through all seasons, watching them dress and undress" - I feel like that about the big old trees I watch from my desk everyday - I love the continuity - the quiet strength - the connection. As the quote says "they preach undeterred by particulars,the ancient law of life."

    "watch their seedlings nearby that have heard the call of the mighty
    and have pushed their way through soil and rock under the watchful eye of their kind.
    May they remain long enough to cast a shadow"

    Yes - Yes -YES!

    Powerful words! - a beautiful post from one who 'knows'. :-)

  8. Susannah...hug...big hug!

    Dogwood...we are kindred tree huggers

    My words cast a shadow Mary nice...welcome to the tree hugger club...secret decoder ring to follow read my story to your hubby...oh my gosh..that is so sweet and such a compliment...
    This story contained so many images of truth...all rolled up into a story....and it made me cry
    Who hasn't been there? But I tell you it was hard..I first wanted to write a story about a woman saving a nail for everytime she was hurt...but it still sits on my computer...thanks again "She who has one toe over the line,too"
    ANd Robin- Yearning...a very powerful motivator for writing..maybe you should put pen to paper...I think what touches me is the word, is a hopeful word....and the trees

  9. I'm glad you love trees, I love them too.
    In our backyard are 5 mammoth cottonwoods and all we hear from the neighbors are complaints.
    To hell with them, these giants give us lovely shade, beautiful birds and chronicle the changing of the seasons.
    I wouldn't trade them for anything.

  10. Suz

    Every where I have lived I plant trees.

    You, me and Henry Thoreau -- I water the trees in the park behind my house in the hot summer months --
    there is a wonderful society here called I think Friends of the trees that plants trees around Oregon, on one area here in the SE over a thousand trees were planted and the home owners pay an extra tax to have the Parks department feed and spray them -- you would love these trees for their beautiful shapes -- you often find a photographer or two with their big lens taking pictures.

    You got me -- lovely post.


  11. I love this picture, Suz !
    The trees look very mysterious and they remain standing.

  12. I love trees. I'm always touching them when I go on walks. The picture you took of the oaks is like from one of my dreams. Trees by a stream. It's a happy place. And your poem captures trees so well. They are sentinels to life.

  13. my,my,my....this gives my heart many kindred spirits loving trees! There is a stand of burr oaks...a remaining stand near my home..with a for sale sign in front of them.....weep for them, sisters...right behind them I rescued jacks and bluebells and blood root and trilliums...I worked as fast as I could without being seen....the rest are all gone...Million dollar homes their tombstones

  14. Oh, Nessa, I will post more photos of these trees for you...maybe they are for you..

  15. What beautiful images and poetry. I am a tree person too, and lucky to live in a neighborhood where most of the trees are older than those of us who live here. You mention Galena. I had a chance to visit there for a magazine assignment several years ago, and it was beautiful!

  16. An inspiring poem, Suz. When visiting back home in Texas, I love the smell of the live oaks in the piney woods of the Big Thicket.

    I posted a short piece on Feb 4 about them... My dad and I planted one when I was in high school. It was a twig from a family friend's farm. Today it is towering, and magnificent! It looks as if it could be older than both Dad and I, but it will live way beyond our time...

    That's both a sad, and comforting thought.

  17. I love old oak trees, too. We have lots around here and I never get tired of looking at them. They are like wise sculptures. Your pictures and poetry are beautiful.


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