Steps begin to slow as the pre-dawn horizon-orange just vaguely can be seen between the opaqueness of the intervening trees. A unique hush has settled over the park, undisturbed by wind, sounds or disturbances.
Palpable is the essence of no dominion. No bush or tree or flower tries to take precedence of any kind. Everything is settled, each part in its perfect place. The tallest tree does nothing to announce its height. Instead, like a lanky sentry, keeps watch over the vastness below. There is respect for all, from the oak to the tiniest weed, from the canopy of outlines to a scrap of fallen bark. It all tallies together as one unique tapestry.
The solidarity of its uniqueness seemed to be rejuvenating in the exquisite stillness. As if everything that was there was listening, breathing, exulting and paying homage to the orange hue amassing in the east.
I, too, paused for enlightenment. A wise old elm took me aside and whispered, ‘Thank you for stopping and listening. These hours are our favorite for contemplation, reception and growth. We aren’t responsible for myriad tasks, just growth. We sense the moisture in the air, the water level in the ground, and what is around us. We determine the direction a new limb should go, the number of its leaves, how fast it should grow, when it should start growing and when it should stops. And there is always the seasons to factor in. We get but one chance on every decision so they must all be right. As you can see, we do a pretty good job.’
Way off in the distance I heard the scream of a motorcycle engine, and then noticed the blade marks on the trunk of one of the elm’s fallen brothers. I didn’t even ask.
Wiping away the tears, my feet began moving me down the trail again. It felt as though I was walking through a communal prayer. I felt completely unprepared, like I was inside the most perfect chapel and I didn’t even know its name. To make the distinction more complete, the hue became a deeper, more exotic, orange – making the surroundings glow.
With my tail between my legs, I exited the woodsy area. There, a car appeared, then another. I pondered what had just come before in that magical place. There was a rhythm there, but with no beat. An inaudible chorus of perfect harmony. A dance with no movement. Friendships that should be called One-ships. A sense of warmth and togetherness – that if it had a name – would put ‘love’ out of business. The sound of a car horn – and it all ended.
It was there. It was there, wasn’t it? The smells of the morning dew lingering to be enjoyed. A solitary bird a half-mile away declaring something – or maybe just so damn content and happy her song just blurted out. The rustle of leaves to the left, the feeling of a non-existent cobweb on your face, the incremental vistas that were shared with every step. They are still there! Please tell me they are still there.
Mighty are the thoughts, when trees talk.