Trees and I talk while I walk among them. They feel like friends.
The past three days I walked among trees that had nothing to say. And as I walked among them with my partner of thirty-five years, both of us had nothing to say. The trees took our thoughts away just by being who they are. They felt like gods.
These trees had seen it all in their 3-4000 years of life. They had stood resolute without the idea of ‘resolute’. They had taken what they needed from the sun and earth. And to top it off, they were blessed with just the right combination of good genes that allowed them to prosper and live long.
They had even taken what they needed from the fire that licked around the tough bark at their base. And in most cases, the fire proved a friend that cleared more land for their gigantic trunk, more sunlight to absorb, and amazingly enough–the fire somehow (like popcorn, I imagine) prepped their seeds for germination.
These trees, if you haven’t guessed yet, are called Sequoias, named after Chief Sequoya. If I were back in a native American/First Nations lifetime, I might call these trees, They Who Know All and Say Nothing.
Walking among them, I felt Not-I. Not-I did not feel– Not-I be’d, if there was such a word. I will say it as best I can to make sense for you:
Not-I simply did be.
A magical holy experience.
As you walk so softly among these giants, the silence around you begets more silence.
The few birds flitting in and out amount the trees are also quiet, as though they know…this is a sanctuary. This is the place where the giants reign. We know our place here.
The rocks joined the trees in grandeur. We climbed one rock that had 350 steps. It was simply being itself as we huffed and puffed up and down, snapping photo after photo along with hundreds of other human-ants who made the trek that day.
Coming down from the mountains, I still feel the silent space. It is peaceful. It is just being. It is being alive, and it has no words, so I am going to stop talking now. The trees have shown me how.