Monday, January 26, 2009

Redwood Grove

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I listened to David Whyte speak this past weekend at Mt. Madonna in California. I love what I learned about redwood trees by watching them in the fog and soft air during the breaks we had. The way they stand so still in the quiet morning mist. The way the mist condenses on the leaves into large droplets that fall to the ground around the drip-line of the tree. The way that young redwoods spring up as shoots from the roots of the parent tree and form a perfect circle around it – right at the drip-line where the water, distilled from the mist, falls to the ground to nurture new young shoots. One day the taller parent tree may be lost to lightening, disease or age and when it is taken back by the earth just a circle of trees will remain.

It made me think of the questions that David Whyte’s workshop acknowledged. The questions that are rooted at our own edges remind me of the circle of trees that establish around the parent tree – right where the edges of the tree meet everything that the tree is not. One day the parent tree may be gone forever but genetically identical trees remain firmly rooted at exactly the place where its own raindrops imagined them. Just like one day we may stand in that place where our own important questions have taken root.

Redwood Grove

Standing in the mist
A feeling so familiar
That without thinking
I gently open my heart
And hold loving arms out
Into soft morning air
Leaving me certain
It is my branches
That draw water from the mist
Distilled just from the edge
Of where the tree
Touches everything that it is not
Forming heavy raindrops
That fall and mark the ground
Where, one day, I will stand
At the edge
Of my own empty circle

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