Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nature's Company

When my family and I were moving from California to Tennessee, we decided to take a goodbye trip to Northern California. We worked our way up to San Francisco, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, and ended up on a small road leading to Muir Woods. Muir Woods is a magical fir-filled oasis with quiet walks and huge Redwood trees. After the fun and crowds of the city, the fresh contrast of this hobbit-like environment seemed to welcome our presence. Do you ever wonder if trees can feel human beings the way we feel them? I do. As we walked on the nature trail, a rich green fragrance surrounded us and almost seemed to carry the past, present and future through us in a manner that woke up my travel-worn brain to the possibility of some unknown experience. Nature creates a state of comfort and expectation in me that I have come to rely upon whenever I need rejuvenation.

Sometimes the feeling of inspiration is hard won, for example, when my husband, Wendell, and I hiked up to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, California. It took an entire day to arrive to the cables where we would pull ourselves up and over the smooth rounded rock to make our way to the breathless panoramic view overlooking Yosemite Valley. I thought of Ansel Adams and his climbing trips; he must have been loaded down with photography equipment. How did he manage to take those beautiful black and white photographs? Adams said, "I knew my destiny when I first experienced Yosemite." When I gazed over to the wide expanse below, I knew that I did not know my destiny-at all. I knew that my future would continue to open to an ever-expanding reach that I could not shrink down to an understandable and manageable thought. No life formula came to me, just the idea of unlimited possibility. My choice then was to accept the unknown; manage my fear, and fight for the next trail to blaze. How free I felt!

While we remain actively engaged in the known, we have to learn to live peacefully with the unknown. Nature gives me strength to care about all those who are in pain while not being overwhelmed with empathy. In daily life, I imagine the trees surrounding me are friendly Ents who will rally to my corner under the most stressful situations- if only sincerely called upon. It is good to remember that we are not separate, not from nature nor from each other. Namaste


  1. I enjoyed our trip to nothern California very much. I also recall taking a goodbye trip to Los Angeles with my good friend the cajun (Ron Leray) and our children. I always wanted to see the Hollywood walk of fame. I remember taking pictures of Amber and Alex next to Bruce Lee's star of fame and searching for other artist or musicians such as Jose Feliciano, Celia Cruz, etc. We also visited the Hollywood Bowl a historic site where the Beatles had performed. We had a great time. I sometimes miss California. By the way, I do believe that trees feel us in a similar manner as we experience them. They are very much alive; just like in the giving tree. God have mercy on those who poison them. They only way to honor trees is when we transform then into a piece of spiritual art as in a musical instrument: a guitar or violin. We not only highlight their beauty eternally but moreover they become alive producing celestial music which reaches our soul. Just ask Segovia who's up there performing at the feet of God.

  2. Hi California Dreamin' AKA Blue Guitar,thanks for the comments and the thoughts about nature. The nearly dead Bodhi tree next to the front gate, poisoned by Mr. Casto, has two offspring! Do you know how hard it is to kill the ficus religosa? I think nature is carefully nuanced to slip into the next opportunity for life. Amazing. I know some who struggle with tree control; but I find myself silently cheering at their failed efforts. Hug a Tree!

  3. Yogini, you are so right! As soul sisters, I must tell you that your insights are fascinating --and on target. As an alter-ego are you ever confused? Just kidding! Keep participating...btw how do you know Wendell?


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