Tree – An Upright Member of the Standing Nation Speaks
We are the standing nation.
We connect earth and sky – a solid rod of connectivity gracefully flowing we are.
We speak little… at least not a language familiar to many of you…
at least not usually.
No, you didn’t see us move about, at least not very often.
We are a steadfast people, taking root deep in the soil we drink
Deeply of the minerals and nourishments of the earth,
Mixing it with the sunlight returning sweetness to the air.
We even are willing at our own expense to make places
For creatures who make their homes in and on us.
In communities we decide among ourselves who shall grow the
Tallest and how closely we want to live next to one another.
Wisdom is ours. We know the lightning and the thunder and the rain.
We are wise enough to know how to bear all things – well almost all things.
When the bipeds stopped asking us questions, communing with us,
and stopped listening to our songs, they also decided to rearrange us.
In neat little rows they planted our young carefully spaced so the intimacy
of our dance was sedate and almost unnoticeable.
Our young ones cried out for us and we longed to be near them.
At night we sometimes moved closer,
but at the break of day always we had to maintain that measured distance.
This was not all.
They chopped down our old ones.
Our wise ones could no longer teach us the dignities of
Death as their lives well lived were cut ever shorter.
By buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz saws.
Cruel metal machines, mowing us down.
Generation after generation.
We weakened since we knew we would not grow old – not really old anymore.
Only the young — until we were big enough to harvest — were encouraged to grow.
Then we were quickly replaced by younger weaker members.
Our species increasingly knew survival of the weakest
As the fittest were laid waste by that horrible metal sound.
And why should we grow, we asked ourselves, when we were
Only rewarded with an early unnatural death?
Some humans knew our silent screams. We know this.
Some of us fixated on that hated metal man until something curious happened.
As our dust lay in chards around their yards, a few of our atoms changed.
Some of us stuck to the blades and instead of wood we became metal.
What had happened to our hearts? Eventually that blade that we
Hated also became part of us.
We realized we were the blade.
Curiously, somehow we had become entwined with our own wanton destruction.
Now, let me take a moment to explain that metal
Evolves much more slowly than we trees.
Fire burns us, but we still stand.
Metal melts and loses all sense of itself – at least of its form.
As we buzzed ourselves and forgave our brothers who buzzed us,
We also transformed again.
We did not know how to become not metal, but we did know how to change our shape.
After years we gradually became metal pointed things that men held in their hands.
We tried to find good men so they would use us well since,
Worse than being planted trees,
We were now extremely portable and could be used
By another – an extension of his nature.
Some of us found our way to becoming pens and were covered with ink.
Over time, we also learned we could transfer our atoms mixed
With the ink to the paper where we lived for centuries.
On scrolls of parchment we became a sort of living word.
We also hoped we would one day become trees again. Free ones.
To anyone who reads this, please tell my tree bretheren that there is hope.
They, too, can live forever.
Tell them to grow tall and to trust themselves.
Tell them to grow strong and let those tender little ones live close by.
Tell them to grow old and respect age.
Tell them to let their older friends die wisely and listen to what they want to
Tell you – especially as they prepare themselves to cross over.
Tell them to connect to the earth, drink deeply of her, and
Stretch up high waving in the heavens.
Tell them they are a sweetness and a perfume to this earth.
Tell them we love them.
We always will.
Your friend, Tree
Date: January 4, 2012