Navarro River Redwoods State Park, Mendocino County, CA
The reward for the 10 hour drive on Interstate 5 from LA is that, at a certain point around Healdsburg I think, there is a turn-off and you take that turn-off and you leave the straight, stark freeway that cuts through the middle of California and you settle onto windy Highway 128 and you eventually enter THIS. The Big Trees. The Ancient Ones. Some of THE OLDEST Redwoods in existence.
No matter how many times I’ve driven into this forest I still collapse outward the moment I’m in it. The huge, quiet, intimate, energetic, serene, familial feeling of it. I swear I can hear the trees telling me that everything will be just fine. That, of all the things they’ve witnessed without moving, none of it is larger than people and how hard they try.
I’ve never quite been able to capture their exact essence, their exact scope and size but I think they arrange it that way on purpose because then I am drawn to go back and back and back again and again to get some more of their gigantic, gracious love.
I think the wise, old trees are like Earth’s grandparents, don’t you?
Yours in Irreversible Wonder,
Tammy Tree Hugger
El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, California.
There is nothing like an Oak. Pasadena is filled with them. In the 10 years that I had the pleasure of living there, some of my greatest solace came from walking under them—strutting under them, actually, like George M. Cohan.
“Good day, fine Sirs,” I would say to them as I strolled along the avenue under their magnificent canopy, “You are looking quite mighty today.”
And they, in all their handsome grandeur, would reach their arms up in reverence and make it their business to electrify the afternoon and me and I, every single time, would saunter away feeling taller.
I think trees have the loveliest manners, don’t you?
I looked up and then I felt happy,
Trina the EverForever Tree Gazer
Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, 2011
As far as the eye can see: THEM. From every view and trail and window.
In this shot, they coordinate with the clouds and the sky to showcase their grandeur. I’m quite certain they appreciate me and know how often I think about their handsomeness when I am not with them, counting the moments until we are together again.
Fern the Drooling Forest Gnome
The Getty Museum, 2011. Cupcake Day Trip.
Oh, hello stunning, delicate, bare armed soldiers. Thank you for your constant performance of The Heartbreaking Beauty of a Straight Line.
I have, on more than one occasion, greeted a tree as if it were a person. Have you?
Calavaras County Big Trees State Park, 2011. Cupcake Road Trip.
Ok, so I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking and then I look up and I see HER—WEARING HER HEART ON HER CHEST and I gasp and I stop and stare for approximately five thousand hours.
She was way, way, way beyond me so there was no way for me to get close enough to commune with her and ask her my normal Redwood queries like What is it like to be so mighty? Have you ever seen a dinosaur? and May I call you Mrs. Majestic? so I just hung out near her for a while and listened to the incredible stillness that seemed to vibrate around her while she towered above it all, glowing.
I think trees make fantastic Valentines, don’t you?