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Archive for March, 2011

“When I entered the majestic cathedral of the redwood forest for the first time my spirit knew it had found what it was searching for. I dropped to my knees and began to cry because I was so overwhelmed by the wisdom, energy and spirituality housed in this holiest of temples.” 

— Julia Butterfly Hill

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Of Forests and Men…

Of Forests and Men – USA (Edward Norton) from GoodPlanet on Vimeo.

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Richard Preston is one of the only humans to have climbed Hyperion, a nearly 380-foot redwood tree that is the tallest living thing on Earth. Hyperion was discovered by explorer Michael Taylor while Preston was writing his latest full-length book, The Wild Trees.

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MY FATHER AND MOTHER HAVE INSTILLED A LOVE OF PLANTING IN OUR FAMILY.

The planting inheritance, a flourishing of the verdurous instinct…

But it’s more to the relishing of seeing things grow. And sharing in that growth. My father comes from a planting background, as a farmer. Early on, our family bought a farm, some several miles from our house in Spokane — mostly hay, back in the beginning. But later, the family — including all the brothers, and Dad, brought trees to plant. And more trees. And more — till finally, the bulk of the land is covered in pine. But it was never about the idea of cutting the trees, but converting the land.

Walking round, cleaning the land around the island studio, I see the many little plantings that have moved to permanence, after nearly two decades of growth. Here, too, are trees that have moved along — some, to growth, others have passed in the harsh and salted winds and rain. Cedars, transplanted couldn’t survive the shift from inland forests to more coastal weather.

I’m seeing the inklings of spring, just coming. Little sprigs of green emerging – the hints that the fierce grasp of winter is shifting to the season of renewal.

The nature of planting — the nurturing sprig or seedling — it’s a mutual gift, whether gardens, flowers, trees; but that gift, as I’ve seen in my parents, is as much a gift in the practice of planting, as the nourishing of green to the outcome of that gesture.

With the sun shining, it’s a day that celebrates that transition, just now — glinting rays illuminate the far shore like a rule of scintillant light, shimmering in slivers.

The waters, calm, still speak the whisper of the tides.

Contributed by Tim Girvin, Seattle, Washington

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I am the tree… there is no name for me … I am just the tree!
My ways are ancient … symbolic of the connections between earth and sky.
My roots grow deep into the soil; soil that is all that remains of my ancestors.
It is all that remains … of anyone’s ancestors … and I know them all.
For I walk barefoot in the soil; and the soil stores the remnants of every creature’s works.
You are the human … do your roots live among the ancestors … like mine?
Are you as dependent on … or even aware of … the wisdom of the soil or its long-term memory?

I am the tree … it is but a word to me … I am just the tree!
My leaves are held high … eager for the warmth of the sun and a gentle summer rains.
And I cast my shadows across the meadow … shade for those who would tend my roots and branches.
A family of Hawks has nested high in my crown …
That they may teach their young to soar with Grandfather Sky.
And I am honored for the air exchange we leafed beings … share … with those that have lungs.
May our needs remain in balance! May our days be many upon this earth!

I am the tree … no words, just a song for me … I am just the tree!
Listen for the whispers of my song … carried by the wind at your back.
There are many such songs in the forest, a different one for each and every physical thing.
Songs that reveal the secrets hidden in every leaf and rock.
Songs … like reference libraries … that share all secrets, great and small … worth knowing.
It is the universal language all things use to communicate, it is the only true language.
The language of vibrations … songs … still emanating from that very first day!

I am the tree … I am the song … I am the tree!

Ho Hecetu Welo!


contributed by Rob (Wind At His Back) Miller

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Forest of Oma

Spending an afternoon at the Evanston Art Center talking with Pamela Paulsrud, I was encouraged to send a tree story to Treewhispers. I have planted trees, saved trees that were blown over by the wind and rescued trees from the construction guy’s saw, but I am sending a picture of the Painted Trees in the Forest of Oma, as a Unique Tree Moment!

The trees were painted by Basque artist Agustin Ibarrola, and the Forest of Oma is in the Basque Country of Northern Spain, some place between Bilbao and San Sebastian. Google maps had it pinpointed exactly, and all we had to do was drive to a little village and then it would be 4 kilometers or more up the mountain. Google maps did not mention that it was a footpath, closed to car traffic. The climb was worth it—a stunning mountain top vista, and deep in the pine forest, many trees had been painted by a magical hand—rainbow colors, figures, symbols, it was a most unusual art work in a beautiful setting.

Augstin Ibarrola’s works can be found in Google Images. He has traveled around Spain painting trees, rocks, just about anything in a remote and special location, and his dedicated followers delight in traveling to each place, photographing the work and posting it as proof of their visit.



Photo and text contributed by Sara Drower, Wilmette, IL

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