Inspired by the Land

It is summertime now, and most folks are on vacation. What does vacation mean? Without Work. A foregoing of commercial intention. A release from intention to engage in the discovery of the I AM that lives in this human being. And most folks in the Northwest go out into the woods, into the mountains.

What we get, if we actually get away…. from media, city rhythms, from other’s sounds, from our inner hum-drum…. is genuine inspiration. Ancient trees, moss covered fortresses that have withstood centuries of rain and wind. and that wind, which I never understood till this year, is very orderly. Yes, it makes us confused, it disturbs us with the dust it raises, but it is not confused. It is the gentle mover. It moves the dapples in the canopy of trees that shade the earth from the scorching sun. That sun that we will seek for warmth as the dry autumn falls upon us as leaves fall upon the ground, now in summer that sun burns what it touches. The earth, it misses its ancient canopy.

It is amazing to me that so few realize the profundity of the gift that old trees give. A lofty canopy of rich cool shade, with tall stems reaching deep into spongy soil netted with roots and mycorrhizal rhizomes, or as the Indians used to say: grandfathers shaking hands, beneath the ground. Big trees not only provide shade, and in their death – topsoil, oh, and the air we breath, the culture of their roots provides the nursery for soil creation, home to the flowers of rot: mushrooms.

My patriotism is nourished by the land, the respect for the land that the original people here had and still have. They are sometimes called Indians, sometimes called Native Americans, but in practice here, in the Pacific Northwest, They call themselves by the name of the river near which they were born. The Yakima, the Warm Springs, the Cowlitz, the Stillaguamish, the Tulalips all members of the Salish, or Salmon Eaters. Try googling

So inventive we Americans. Coming back from the woods, refreshed, inspired. I wonder how many city dwellers now across the land, create the chance, to be so inspired.

2 responses to “Inspired by the Land

  1. How I too, love the oaks. I am a woodworker and my favorite wood is white oak, so hard and permanent and beautiful. The oak grown here in Oregon is amazingly tough, but also difficult to work with, for it twists and checks frequently so it is mostly used for pallets. Much of that is due to the challenge of milling oak…. which is quite an art. So commercially I have obtained most of my oak from Tenessee, long and straight boards. Here oak is all curvy. We like curves here.

    Interesting note: The word true arises from the word drue, meaning ‘knower of oaks”. It is the root of the word Druid, those spiritual leaders and adjudicators of the Celts.

    Just last Sunday it was reported that Druids were (finally) given status as a religion in England. Amazing, huh. They have been collecting tourist dollars for millennia to take a peek at stonehenge. They finally figured out that it is a religion.


  2. Quite poetic. We lived in the woods of Maine on the Piscataquis,I grew up near Wappingers and live now near the Pascagoula. We have old growth oaks that withstood many hurricanes. I share your humble thoughts.


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