Trees and Wild Spaces

Brittany reminds me of Trees and wild-spaces. I would like to post a tribute to trees by the fabulous writer Herman Hesse. Image: Huelgoat from a visit some years back. I love the trees there. The magic of bolders and glades and the small grottos with their tiny caves.

trees-and-wild-spaces“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte.

Guest post by @Prasanna

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8 Responses

  1. Witchy Poo
    | Reply

    @Prasanna It is my birthday today, you could not have provided a more perfect present :rose:
    Trees are a life essential, in every way. Thank you so much for sharing this. :heart:

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  2. Liz
    | Reply

    That is a beautiful Blog Prasanna and a perfect description……A pleasure to read and thank you for sharing. :rose:

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  3. Prasanna
    | Reply

    Thank you both. I’ve posted this very quickly today, without knowing properly what I was doing. Do you enjoy inspirational prose/quotes? – I’ve kept a Word Press blog for 5 years now, where I’ve posted all my favourite pieces together with photos.

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  4. admin Wizard
    | Reply

    Yes it was beautiful. :heart: If you would like to share those that would be fantastic.

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  5. Fruitcake
    | Reply

    Beautiful Prasanna, trees are essential to our very being.

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  6. Guiscriff56
    | Reply

    Wonderful.

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  7. Jaypear
    | Reply

    Lovely, thank you

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  8. Witchy Poo
    | Reply

    @Prasanna I received a beautiful book today called The Sacred Tree by Glennie Kindred, it is not professionally bound, a very simple book. The opening line is “I have written this book to help us find our way back to working with our friends the trees” It is gorgeous. :rose:

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