“Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree…
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…
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
From a father longing to share the eclipse passion with his daughters.
“I am an eclipse chaser.”
I say this as if introducing myself at a 12-step program. Lately, encumbered by parental responsibilities, I do my chasing in an armchair with a star chart, except now I’m preparing once again for physical pursuit.
A total solar eclipse is the most spectacular event in nature, and the one this August 21 will be the first in nearly 40 years to cross the continental United States. Millions will see it and I’m determined to haul my family across the country to be among them.”
“The only way to gain power in a world that is moving too fast is to learn to slow down. And the only way to spread one’s influence wide is to learn how to go deep. The world we want for ourselves and our children will not emerge from electronic speed but rather from a spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then, and only then, will we create a world that reflects the heart instead of shattering it.”
– Marianne Williamson
I’m always at peace on the water. Well, technically I’m always at peace near the water, but you get the gist. There are few things I find as soothing.
Lakes, creeks, rivers, oceans – I willingly spend hours near any of these. Water in both stillness and motion speaks to me. It murmurs to my heart: be still and listen. It quiets my mind and settles me into a rhythm older than time itself.