Another quote from "Albion":
"The mark or symbol of the hawthorn tree is to be found in the runic alphabet of the ancient British tribes, as if the landscape propelled them into speech."--p. 3
To speak is to name. To name is to know--to make known. Alternatively, to be spoken to is to be known. I never feel like I know a child until she begins to talk to me. From the moment my friend's little girl called me by name and began to chatter away, it was like a door opening into a hallway filled with more doors into more rooms. She was like a seed planted in the earth, and when I returned to check on it, I found a tree antlered with many branches and crowned with many leaves.
If you were mute, and saw a tree--one of those remarkably old trees, like the redwoods in California or the squat dreaming oaks in England--would you be compelled to speak?