We were like two little kids today as we looked around every corner from Payson, AZ to Cortez, CO for the first hint of the Aspens. The Phoenix area can’t boast of much in terms of trees unless you stretch your imagination and believe the Saguaro counts for such. I am one of those “tree loving liberals” and can certainly tell a cactus from a tree.
Have you noticed that you immediately love some people without ever meeting them? I fell in love with Joyce Kilmer the first time I read his work. You will probably remember his most known poem:
“I think I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast.
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Under whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives in rain.
Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.
I think I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.”
Tomorrow we will head deeper into the Rockies where reports indicate the Aspens are in full color.
Let me leave you with a tree poem less famous than the above.
Sequoia by Ross Andrews
When you stand before a colossal wall of reddish brown a mass of tree bigger than any you've ever seen- bigger than any living thing, bigger than houses, far bigger than ourselves, It becomes more than an experience of human and tree. When you listen to the wind curl through rounded needle clusters and gaze up 100 feet to the lowest branch, awestruck eyes looking towards the sky, I glance at my wife, her hand resting on soft tree-fur It becomes more than an experience of natural wonder. When you lean against two-foot deep fluted bark, and a fire-carved cave engulfs you at it's base - it is beyond any wildness you've ever felt, beyond any idea of nature you've ever known, It becomes more than an experience of the wild Sierra. When you see the ribbed and egg-shaped cone a seed light as nothing like an oatmeal flake smaller than the baby in my arms smaller than seeds of lesser eastern trees, It becomes more than a moment outside- Away from the crisis-call of our modern lives, away from highways and comparing ourselves to others, away from achievement and failure, It becomes a sacred moment lost to modern thought- when you realize these plants were living, breathing, green flesh at the time of Christ's birth, these apostles of creation What does it become, you, standing there beside this tree, a 3,000 year old 40 foot wide Giant Sequoia? It becomes a greeting with God on earth, An invitation to wonder and a chance to believe.