"If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything," wrote the philosopher, Alan Watts.
Not only are trees essential for life, but as the longest living species on earth, they give us a link between the past, present and future.
Historical references to the sacredness of trees fills volumes of poetic works. Taliesin, a 6th century Celtic bard used what some academics claim as the secret language of trees to express and exchange ideas with those with need to know, “without anyone there being any the wiser.”
Los Angeles’s Tree People lists the “Top 22 Benefits of Trees” to include:
- In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
- Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
- Whether as houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for human retreat throughout the ages.
Will we lose this connection as deforestation continues destroying an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest a year?
Throughout history trees represent wisdom and strength. Each time we linger among the trees we are offered their gift of strength.
The contemplationI can’t physically be in nature at this moment, but with my eyes at rest I let my imagination see an acorn in my hand. I caress this seed with love and watch it sprout forth with life. As it reaches toward the sky and into the light, nature’s peace spreads through my body like the leaves of this young oak tree that I hold in my hand.
Each new leaf is another element of the peace that grows within me. I give gratitude to the trees for giving oxygen to breathe. I silently sit and let nature’s song among the trees sooth my soul.