IN THE COMPANY OF TREES
In the company of trees
where there are many, and green mountains beyond,
the sound of our feet on the trail is lost
in trampled leaves and resilient soil
bordered by streaks of brilliant moss.
High above is sky
showing both fog and blue through our canopy:
leaves borne on slender trunks
reaching for sun.
Roots cross our path,
and logs, placed for steady striding.
Ever changing landscape
moves as we move:
Now come weathered boulders
in curious sizes and shapes, giving way
to patches of meadow. Soon, old catastrophe:
fallen trees, branches askew,
decaying in various stages,
sprouting new life in unexpected ways.
Now come blossoming tulip trees:
fallen flowers everywhere,
pastel green and yellow — waxy.
Next, a host of laurels,
tall, burdened with clustering blooms in pink:
“miniature parasols” crowded together;
followed by a precarious boulder —
huge, asymmetrical, split in two.
God’s common surprises!
No end to them this day (or any day)
When we perceive.
High up in the forest,
announced by the sounds of falling water,
come powerful torrents, bursting forth
from an unknown source: hurtling over roots
crashing over rocks, churning over stones;
dividing, as by a signal
into separate smaller rushing streams
mingling, finally, in a narrow bed
flowing, quieter — in slower tempo
revealing transparent glimpses
of pure flowing water.
Is this how the singing brook by the road began?
Is this how we, from our turbulent youth
find our place in You, having pleaded
“Unite my heart to fear thy name”?