Among the Trees

June 24, 2020

When I am searching for peace and grounding I walk among the trees. Majestic and graceful, quirky, and unique, they have a way of bending, wrapping, and adapting to their environment. Their strong stance remains constant in the swirl of activity, yet their impermanence is embodied in the fluttering fall of crisp leaves and vulnerable revelation of naked bony branches. Their fingers shake and yield to the wind in a dance of aliveness, and that invisible force they are responding to is given voice in the rustle of their leaves.
I’ve been taking pictures of trees as I walk around beautiful Marin County. Despite all the troubles in the world, this leisure time spent with the trees is a gift, reminding me to slow down, breathe, and remember that the dramas of the human world are just part of the story.  No more or less important, actually, than this tree.

When I Am Among the Trees

By Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.


Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The li
ght flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”