building a beautiful and bountiful world in collaboration with nature

The Oldest Among Us

IMG_3895I made a pilgrimage last week, taking advantage of the snow-free roads caused by California’s drought, to visit the Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains at elevations of 10,000 feet plus.  Some of the trees in this forest are over 4,000 years old – the oldest known living trees, and perhaps the oldest living individuals on the planet.

Sitting among the Elders of Earth, it’s easier to take a larger perspective.  Easier to remember.  Easier to remember who you are.  Easier to remember why you came here.  Easier to remember what life is all about.

Sitting at their feet, I marveled over and over again at the beauty of their spiraling wood, at the baby pine cones in deep maroon and purple hues, at the awesome view of the Sierra Nevada mountains across the valley, at the patience and steadiness it takes to thrive year after year after year at these high, cold elevations.IMG_3892

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Returning home, rested and refreshed, I remember now that the most important thing is marvel, to live with wonder, to appreciate all the explained and unexplained mysteries of everyday life.  How do a trillion cells cooperate to form my body?  How beautiful is the cacophony of frog song around the pond at midnight!  The marvelous flavors – green, smooth, and comforting – of the chickweed growing on the farm.  How wondrous the deep green of a mallow leaf or the bright green of a blade of grass or the ruby glow of a sunset or the bright blue of a cold morning sky!

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This world loves to be adored, loves to be appreciated, loves to be touched, and loves to return all of that to us.  This is why I came.  This is why I love this planet.  This is why I love to work with Nature.

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