Sunday, July 06, 2008

Thinking of trees

Alan Jacobs has written an awesome essay : "The life of trees".

Some of the "tree-reveries" I've had:

--Somewhere in Scott County, there is a grove of mature oak trees. I saw it for only a fleeting moment, glimpsed from the car as we rounded a bend. That brief glimpse gave me such a powerful sense of peace that I still remember those trees now. Tall and stately, the oaks set that place apart. One could go there and think.

-Late, late on a summer night long ago, Jenny, Rosie, and I took a walk down the lane. It was the full moon, and vast expanses of clouds were passing overhead. The moon played coy: hiding, then dashing out in a blaze of cold silver light. We walked through that interplay of darkness and light, each of us touched by the moon, our eyes and teeth flashing as we talked, our hair almost glowing, so that we looked like a group of fey wending our way to the dark forest beyond. The fields to either side of us shivered under the wind, the grass transformed to stalks of silver that, together, moved like the ocean, drawn by the moon.

My tree-reverie came during one of the moon's bold moments, when we were passing near a group of trees, a moment I happened to look up and saw the dark outline of those trees against the sky. It should have filled me with dread, to see the inky shapes of branches and leaves, lines of darkness against the riot of silvery clouds moving overhead, and the black space deep among the trees. Instead, I was overwhelmed with calm: there was no other place I would rather be. My petty fears of the dark had disappeared in the face of such a rare show of beauty.

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