This is the stump of a Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the Calaveras County Big Trees State Park (Discovery Tree). This state park is near where I live my life as a part-time mountain dweller “in training”. My daughter Taylor and her friend/hiking buddy(nemesis) Brittany lend some perspective.
And here is a live tree not far from the stump.
I visit these trees when I’m feeling confused about my life. Somehow the sheer longevity of these beings, coupled to their humbling size, reaches deep into me and touches a place where trees and humans are one. The feeling is primal and infinitely reassuring to my spirit. I imagine the tree speaking to me. Imagine a conversation with TreeBeard the Ent.
“Hello little human. I sense a sadness about you that is unsuited to a root-less one. You are a celebration of life, just as I, and you have so little time to squander in such a mood. I understand, Little One. You do not choose this mood. It is an unwelcome passenger and it grips you tightly. Come and touch me. Feel the warmth of my thick, wrinkled bark. Sit near me for awhile and watch the squirrels as they live their day running up and down my skin. I am happy in this place. There are so few like it in the world and life called to me here. Life called to the soil, the rain, the air and the light to join and rise forth in this form and heeding the call, I added myself to this place. It suits me. It is where I belong. Although you move about the earth root-less one, you still have your place. Your place follows you, but that makes it no less a place. Your place is defined not by patch of soil, but by those you touch as you move about. Reflect on this Little One and come back to visit me again. Let our places be one again, if just for a moment.”