For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
When Great Trees FallWhen great trees fall,rocks on distant hills shudder,lions hunker downin tall grasses,and even elephantslumber after safety.When great trees fallin forests,small things recoil into silence,their senseseroded beyond fear.When great souls die,the air around us becomeslight, rare, sterile.We breathe, briefly.Our eyes, briefly,see witha hurtful clarity.Our memory, suddenly sharpened,examines,gnaws on kind wordsunsaid,promised walksnever taken.Great souls die andour reality, bound tothem, takes leave of us.Our souls,dependent upon theirnurture,now shrink, wizened.Our minds, formedand informed by theirradiance,fall away.We are not so much maddenedas reduced to the unutterable ignoranceof dark, coldcaves.And when great souls die,after a period peace blooms,slowly and alwaysirregularly. Spaces fillwith a kind ofsoothing electric vibration.Our senses, restored, neverto be the same, whisper to us.They existed. They existed.We can be. Be and bebetter. For they existed.
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
A row of trees far away, there on the hillside.But what is it, a row of trees? It’s just trees.Row and the plural trees aren’t things, they’re names.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
There are gigantic trees that have grown tall into the winds and the clouds over the thousands of years of their lives, their tops are rustled and tossed by the mists of the atmosphere! Then there are the short trees that don't live for long, they are young with no deep roots and only a few annual rings to tell their stories.The tall, ancient trees sway in the realm of freedom while the short young trees cannot even raise their branches into that direction of the sky! Now, you are the bird who needs a tree to live in; if you choose to live in the tree which thrives in the realm of freedom, that doesn't mean you are not committed to that tree. You are still committed to your tree, but together you and your tree live in freedom. Freedom is not the absence of commitment. If you are the bird who chooses to fly around amongst the short trees and live in them, that's because your wings are too short to make it any higher and your vision too near to see any further into the clouds. And if you move from one short tree to the next short tree, that doesn't mean you are free, you are still down there below, freedom is still nowhere near you.
Look: the trees exist; the houseswe dwell in stand there stalwartly. Only wepass by it all, like a rush of air.And everything conspires to keep quiet about us,half out of shame perhaps, half out of some secret hope.
As I age in the world it will rise and spread,and be for this place horizonand orison, the voice of its winds.I have made myself a dream to dreamof its rising, that has gentled my nights.Let me desire and wish well the lifethese trees may live when Ino longer rise in the morningsto be pleased with the green of themshining, and their shadows on the ground, and the sound of the wind in them.
I want to hear the wind in the trees. Feel the sun warm my back. I want to see birds fly in a sky with no boundaries.
It’s not by accident that people talk of a state of confusion as not being able to see the wood for the trees, or of being out of the woods when some crisis is surmopunted. It is a place of loss, confusion, terror and anger, a place where you can, like Dante, find yourself going down into Hell. But if it’s any comfort, the dark wood isn’t just that. It’s also a place of opportunity and adventure. It is the place in which fortunes can be reversed, hearts mended, hopes reborn.
Plants are more courageous than almost all human beings: an orange tree would rather die than produce lemons, whereas instead of dying the average person would rather be someone they are not.
Here is Menard's own intimate forest: 'Now I am traversed by bridle paths, under the seal of sun and shade...I live in great density...Shelter lures me. I slump down into the thick foliage...In the forest, I am my entire self. Everything is possible in my heart just as it is in the hiding places in ravines. Thickly wooded distance separates me from moral codes and cities.
Voll Blüten steht der Pfirsichbaum nicht jede wächst zur Frucht sie schimmern hell wie Rosenschaum durch Blau und Wolkenflucht. Wie Blüten geh'n Gedanken auf hundert an jedem Tag -- lass' blühen, lass' dem Ding den Lauf frag' nicht nach dem Ertrag! Es muss auch Spiel und Unschuld sein und Blütenüberfluss sonst wär' die Welt uns viel zu klein und Leben kein Genuss.
The image of a wood has appeared often enough in English verse. It has indeed appeared so often that it has gathered a good deal of verse into itself; so that it has become a great forest where, with long leagues of changing green between them, strange episodes of poetry have taken place. Thus in one part there are lovers of a midsummer night, or by day a duke and his followers, and in another men behind branches so that the wood seems moving, and in another a girl separated from her two lordly young brothers, and in another a poet listening to a nightingale but rather dreaming richly of the grand art than there exploring it, and there are other inhabitants, belonging even more closely to the wood, dryads, fairies, an enchanter's rout. The forest itself has different names in different tongues- Westermain, Arden, Birnam, Broceliande; and in places there are separate trees named, such as that on the outskirts against which a young Northern poet saw a spectral wanderer leaning, or, in the unexplored centre of which only rumours reach even poetry, Igdrasil of one myth, or the Trees of Knowledge and Life of another. So that indeed the whole earth seems to become this one enormous forest, and our longest and most stable civilizations are only clearings in the midst of it.
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?
Think the tree that bears nutrition:though the fruits are picked, the plant maintains fruition.So give all the love you have.Do not hold any in reserve.What is given is not lost; it shall return.
I went to the springs while the sun was still up, and sitting on a rocky outcrop above the cave mouth I watched the light grow reddish across the misty pools, and listened to the troubled voice of the water. After a while I moved farther up the hill, where I could hear birds singing near and far in the silence of the trees. The presence of the trees was very strong...The big oaks stood so many, so massive in their other life, in their deep, rooted silence: the awe of them came on me, the religion.
If you really want to eat, keep climbing. The fruits are on the top of the tree. Stretch your hands and keep stretching them. Success is on the top, keep going.
Karma yoga is giving food to the hungry, clothes to the needy, shelter to the homeless, education to the uneducated, medicine to the sick, and trees and cleanliness to the environment.
If only we wait on God's timings, we shall eat of the best fruits from the tree of life in the garden of God.
The tree was so old, and stood there so alone, that his childish heart had been filled with compassion; if no one else on the farm gave it a thought, he would at least do his best to, even though he suspected that his child's words and child's deeds didn't make much difference. It had stood there before he was born, and would be standing there after he was dead, but perhaps, even so, it was pleased that he stroked its bark every time he passed, and sometimes, when he was sure he wasn't observed, even pressed his cheek against it.
Trees are corrupting our parks. They should be arrested for loitering. For deciduous trees, add littering and indecent exposure to that list of offenses.
That streetside tree is obscuring the air. Cut it down. Haul it in for questioning. There are secrets within that foliage. You might want to separate the branches in different rooms and apply some elementary game theory.”“Question a plant?”“Trees have a will too, just like people. We have to know it’s purpose. Read Schopenhauer.”“Schopenwho?”“He was the only authentic German. You might like him. Being a police officer, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the need to put an end to the lives of the perverse when sex crimes go too far. Now just generalize that necessity to every human being.
Once your baby tree is in the ground, check it daily, because the first three years are critical. Remember that you are your tree's only friend in a hostile world.
The night is about to lull everything and everyone to sleep. I stretch myself at the window and open it so that the books can breathe fresh damp air. I suspect that books need to breathe like people, and I think they tolerate damp better than people say. There is no doubt that they stare rather sadly at the trees out in the garden, as if they have a vague recollection of relationship with them, and sighs are borne from the pages to the damp trunks and branches.I begin to sigh too, for I feel that people are like trees that move, trees that have lost their roots and are always in search of the soil. I have a hazy idea that humans have come from trees that broke off from their roots in a wild whirlwind eons ago - that is my thory of evolution.
The Pleiades and northern lights are still above the mountain. The mountain is in the east, and on its slopes there are reindeer. Reindeer always remind me of trees that have taken to moving. They remind me even more of trees than people do. In the distant past, reindeer were trees as people were, but they haven't come such a long way from their origins, and the branches can be seen although they no longer bear leaves.I have my bedtime book in my hand and my pocket light and walk toward the mountain over the edges of the moorland in rubber boots. The book is a relative of mine, I feel; it is made out of trees and human thought, and thus the relationship becomes twofold. These are ancient poems that I am taking to the mountains and the reindeer.