I was recently invited to contribute to a glossary of “vital vocabulary” being compiled by Eliana Otta for the Ecoversities website. I chose the word “tree,” and quickly realized my task was impossible.
Tree: A Definition
In the forest on my land in Mendocino grows a Redwood tree. As ancient and strong as a dragon, she was a sapling when the pillars were first laid in the Norman cathedrals. Now she vaults into the heavens like Yggdrasil.
At times, I place my hand upon her thick bark and, her knight, swear to protect her to my dying breath, even as the sound of chainsaws oppress her forest. Other times, I crouch like a trembling mouse in her shelter, the agony of raging fires and deadly viruses overwhelming me. I hold on. “Root me. Come into my dreams. Free me of fear, oh holy one.” My head lies in a deep crevice in her trunk, gazing into the blue sky shimmering with green leaves.
The futility of defining her makes me laugh, she whose being, rooted in symbiosis throughout the forest, encoding and transmitting information from the sky, filled with centuries of wisdom and knowledge, is beyond the encompassing of my tiny awareness.
I only ask that I may be held by her, and all the Earth’s forests, until I breath my last into Her, the Great Mother of us all.