Number 34


To lose oneself in a tree, to seek its solitude....

Number 33

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old?  No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

                   --from Philip Larkin, The Trees.

Number 32

"A single tree--what a miracle it is!"
                                                ---Pablo Casals

Number 31

     There is a book Gary has been trying to get me to read for fifteen years.  I've finally come to it and it is a delight. 
     The book is by W.J.C. Murray and is a scruffy little volume published in England in 1954 by The Country Book Club.
     It's called A Sanctuary Planted and it recounts how, beginning while The Battle of Britain flashed and screamed overhead, Murray began turning a few acres of land in Sussex into a Sanctuary--almost as retaliation for the war.  The sanctuary would be home to all of the trees, shrubs, flowers, animals, birds and insects Murray could collect or otherwise encourage to live and thrive in his hallowed place.
     Trees were of great importance to him.
     He writes that for him, the meaning of a tree is "permanence of place, constancy in being, the destiny to stand and serve, to rest in massive strength, to stand and wait, to endure to the end, unmoved, to abide undaunted through all frosts and storms, rains and tempest, light and darkness, year by year, century by century...."

Number 30

The bark of an old tree is as mysterious as fog

Number 29

In her diary for  December 1, 1151, the German mystic, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), noted that an ancient tree outside her casement window suddenly "began physically to move in the quiet light of midday.  It's motion," she wrote, "seemed such that I and everything I knew or could imagine was present in that tree and shared the same fluid, energetic breathing.  The privileged glimpse was gone in a moment, though I have no doubt the joyous movement continues still.  I crave its beauty like food...."
                                --Barbara Lachman, The Journal of Hildegard of Bingen  (New York: Bell Tower, 1993), p.2. 

Number 28

Forests, winds, mountains, trees
are given to us that we may
the human soul

             --- Marina Tsvetayeva (translated by M.W D.)