Forest and trees

March 1, 2018

Hi,

How are you? I hope that you’re healthy, making sure you laugh out loud often, and witnessing the natural world’s beauty and seasonal changes.

One of my favorite places in the world is the Lady Bird Johnson Grove in Humboldt county. It’s right off of the 101 outside of the teeny tiny town of Orrick, California. The trees are so enormous and the air so quiet that you feel as if you’ve walked into an old, very large cathedral. It’s so peaceful. I bet if your blood pressure drops 20 points after 5 minutes of breathing and being in that space.

There’s a trail guide you can pick up at the start of the 1.4 mile loop, and along the trail are those trail markers with numbers on them that you often see at popular parks. The last marker, number 13, is my favorite. My kids are usually bouncing with energy by the time we get there (they’re pretty much always bouncing with energy), but I always pause and soak it in. The words put things in perspective for me, standing there before some ginormous very old tree. Standing there, reading those words, I feel small but powerful. I’m just one person and I have agency. It’s a beautiful feeling.

In this week’s email I share Number 13’s words, and three ideas that I love right now. I just wish we were standing in front of a giant redwood together to read and listen and be. Alas, this screen will have to do…

Take good care,
Annie

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Three ideas I love

Trump Forest. From the website: “… We’re planting a forest to soak up the extra greenhouse gases Trump plans to put into our atmosphere. We’re planting a global forest to offset Trump’s monumental stupidity.” I love this idea so much. I want to plant as many trees as I can and fill up their map and our planet with carbon-sucking, kid-climbing trees.

Americans exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian. It looks very creative and thought provoking. And like somewhere I want to go and get immersed in history, the present, and my role in both.

Spark Goodness by author T. A. Barron is lifting up the good done by young people. It’s the kind of positive reinforcement that we can all support (and reinforce).

 

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Number 13 – Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Full circle
For us, the character of a redwood forest changes daily. One day, shimmering strands of yellow sunlight beam from crystal blue skies through open windows of the forest canopy. The next day may bring fog or rain, enshrouding the dark green spires and closeting the forest in shadows and mystery. The storms of winter make the forest a dark and foreboding place, with unseen branches bending and creaking as the wind whips through the canopy. For us, the redwood forest presents a profoundly different experience each time we visit.

However, our days and years are not adequate to comprehend the ancient redwoods. Twenty generations have passed since the tallest trees first emerged from the soil. Twenty more will come and go before today’s seedlings fall to give life to a new generation of redwoods. Old-growth forests are timeless, persisting, and patient, moving forward in time with or without us. Left alone, the forest of nature will continue to shape and recreate the majesty of these ancient redwood forests.

Courtesy of Redwood National and State Parks brochure from Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail that is available at the trailhead, and a copy of which always sits on my desk.