They who plant trees love
others besides themselves.
like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they
have to live than other things do. I feel as if this tree
knows everything I ever think of when I sit
trees and leaves. . . there's a real power here. It is
amazing that trees can turn gravel and bitter salts into these
soft-lipped lobes, as if I were to bite down on a granite slab and
start to swell, bud and flower. Every year a given tree
creates absolutely from scratch ninety-nine percent of its living
parts. Water lifting up tree trunks can climb one hundred
and fifty feet an hour; in full summer a tree can, and does, heave
a ton of water every day. A big elm in a single season might
make as many as six million leaves, wholly intricate, without
budging an inch; I couldn't make one. A tree stands there,
accumulating deadwood, mute and rigid as an obelisk, but secretly
it seethes, it splits, sucks and stretches; it heaves up tons and
hurls them out in a green, fringed fling. No person taps
this free power; the dynamo in the tulip tree pumps out even more
tulip tree, and it runs on rain and
are like trees.They do not
call to anyone, neither do they send anyone away.They give shelter to whoever cares to come, be it a man, woman,
child, or an animal.If you
sit under a tree it will protect you from the weather, from the scorching
sun as well as from the pouring rain, and it will give you flowers and
fruit.Whether a human being
enjoys them or a bird tastes of them matters little to the tree; its
produce is there for anyone who comes and takes
are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to
listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and
precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of
tree is beautiful, but what's more, it has a right to life; like water,
the sun and the stars, it is essential. Life on earth is
inconceivable without trees. -Anton Chekhov
think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a
season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into
their roots for renewal and sleep. -May Sarton
in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is
far more glorious than if it were made of gold and
silver. -Martin Luther
tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then
dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the
sky. -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
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.
still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon people's
hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation
from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary
are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an
appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance
among the pines. -Henry
One who plants a tree plants
a hope. -Lucy Larcom
Not that I want to be a god
or hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt
anyone. -Czeslaw Milosz
Trees are different.
From the moment it sprouts until the day it dies, a tree stays fixed in
the same spot. Its roots are nearer than anything else to the heart
of the earth, and its crown is nearer to the sky. Sap courses
through it from top to bottom, from bottom to top. It expands and
contracts according to daylight. It waits for rain, it waits for
sun, it waits for one season and then another, it waits for death.
Not one of the things that enable it to live depends on its will. It
exists and that's all. Now do you know why trees are so good to
stroke? Because they stand so staunchly, because their breathing is
so slow and so serene and so very deep. -Susanna
What does one plant who
plants a tree?
One plants the friend of sun and sky;
One plants the flag of breezes free;
The shaft of beauty towering high.
Henry C. Bunner
It is not pride when the
beech-tree refuses to copy the oak. The only chance of any healthy
life for him is to be as full a beech-tree as he can
never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they
liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.
They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and
coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles
a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and
far! -John Muir
tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a
green thing which stands in their way.
can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so
venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or
wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of
night. -Denise Levertov
think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
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;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer, 1914
A tree growing out of the
ground is as wonderful today as it ever was. It does not need to
adopt new and startling methods. -Robert Henri
me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I
revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and
groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They
are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out
of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and
Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots
rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they
struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to
fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their
own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is
more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut
down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read
its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in
the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the
suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity
stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the
attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy
knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings,
that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most
indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever
knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not
preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by
particulars, the ancient law of life.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am
life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal
mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my
skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the
smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the
eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my
fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every
year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the
very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me.
I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a
tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me!
Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish
thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow
silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother
and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the
mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or
home is nowhere at all.
A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in
the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long
time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so
much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem
to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother,
for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads
homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is
So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before
our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts,
long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than
ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to
them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the
brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our
thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to
listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be
nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte
you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these
different trees. Some of them are bent, some of them are
straight, some of them are evergreens, and some of them are
whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it.
You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that
it didn't get enough light, and so it turned that way. And
you don't get all emotional about it. You just allow
it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near
humans, you lose all that. And you're constantly saying,
"You're too this," or "I'm too this."
That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people
into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they
are. -Ram Dass
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