Friday, July 19, 2013

A Reverance For Trees

Mill Creek Preserve, Big Sur

We’ve been enjoying many family hikes this summer, the physical rhythm of walking on the trail and the beauty of our surroundings.  I am sometimes amused, other times admittedly frustrated that I am only able to indulge in brief reveries along the trail before they are interrupted by the youngest hiker in our trio calling out “Mom!”  When followed by an excited exclamation of “Look!” I’m glad our daughter is observant and appreciative of nature’s wonders (she’s very adept at spotting wildlife)…when followed by a whine or complaint, well, that’s a different story!  Despite their brevity, however, my little reveries always bring forth a bit of insight and inspiration.
Sobranes Canyon, Big Sur 

While we were hiking last week, I was musing on trees…my reverence for them, my   admiration of their sculptural branches, beautiful leaves and needles, fascinating bark textures and patterns and heady scents (pine, fir, bay), how being in their presence is relaxing and calming, how they seem so wise and courageous, how they endure numerous challenges over the years and can still stand strong, how they offer shelter and food for wildlife and a shady haven for hikers like me and how they feel as comfortable as old friends. 

Sequoia National Park

I feel instantly at peace when entering the quiet shelter of a redwood grove, am mesmerized by the eccentricity of a Joshua tree and stand in awe at the base of a majestic sequoia.  Leaning into the bark of a Jeffrey pine and breathing in the sweet hint of butterscotch is delightful!  Trees have made an appearance in many of my favorite vacation memories - the impressive Guanacaste tree in Costa Rica, the massive banyans and the soft whoosh of the ironwoods on a windy Hawaiian day as examples. 

I am quite fond of trees, and yes, I even hug some on occasion!  Do the trees speak to you, too?

Natural palm oasis at Indian Canyons, Palm Springs

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park