dunniteowl's post-modern philosophical musings

The More Familiar I Become, the Stranger I Get

dunniteowl

dunniteowl
Location
Bastrop, Texas, USA
Birthday
October 11
Title
Supreme Commander of the Universe
Company
The Best Company in the World
Bio
Matriculated from: School of Hard Knocks and Diablo Valley College (AA in Communications Tech.) Done all kinds of things for work. Painted sidewalk curb address numbers, sold shoes, USAF Radio Electronics Tech, Semiconductor Tech for AMD, Intel & SEEQ Technologies, worked at Stanford Linear Accelerator upgrading motherboards for Beam Current Magnet Control, IBM building "Industrial Strength" Voice Activated Dialing networks, server systems and intranets, sold greeting cards, nuts, grapes, newspapers and found pets, janitored, worked in fast foods, pizza and data entry. I even clerked at a 7-11 and also ran a big searchlight for those events at night. Also worked at a zoo, where I pretty much did everything you can do at a zoo other than be eaten. Some of those critters do bite. I write and have been since 1972. I have written poetry, fantasy, science fiction and horror stories. I also have come to enjoy essays relating to human experience, the future and being good stewards of this planet. I believe I'm funny sometimes, so chuckle occasionally at my weird jokes and allusions. Very into science and technology, love logic and reason. For some reason, though, I am also a certified Shaman. I can cast horoscopes and read Tarot cards as well (from the expressions on people's faces and their responses, I am apparently quite accurate most of the time.) Love photography: You can find me here: http://s52.photobucket.com/albums/g31/dunniteowl/ and here: http://www.viewbug.com/my-account/photos (if those don't work properly, just go to the main pages and do a search for 'dunniteowl' I am the only one on the internet as far as I know.) I also love game design, starting with board wargames, card games and RPGs. Please comment if you feel like it. I don't care about being "tipped" and don't even really understand it as a function. I signed up on Open Salon so I could have a wider outlet for my writing and hope that you find it of interest at all. This bio is a reflection of things to come, so be prepared.

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MAY 10, 2012 2:06PM

Trees (An Philosophical Essay)

Rate: 20 Flag

 

     Lovely.  This piece is in direct response to FusunA’s blog post titled: Genesis.  To say it inspired me would be like saying a master chef thinks cooking is just okay as something to do.  To that extent, I attempted to write a comment on her post and ended up creating what follows.  I realized that I was actually creating a blog post of my own, because of what FusunA had written (and photographed.)

       So, as FusunA has inspired me – nay opened up some hidden reserve of creative fire – let this be an homage of trees to FusunA’s “Genesis.”   I present to you:

 

     If I Were A Tree, Oh What Kind of a Tree I Would Be!

        I often converse with the trees where I am.  Folks who can learn to listen to the trees and the wind learn that you don't have to rush around all hectic to be in a hurry.  You learn that hurry means something completely different.

       I hurry out to the trees to listen to them, the birds, the literal hum in the air of insect life and the whispers of branches, twigs and leaves.  I hurry to stare into the gnarled old branches of the towering oak, to realize it began from a single acorn at one point.  Or there is a rush of understanding that sometimes those great oaks are simply a communal set of saplings, grown and fused together over time, symbolizing the bundle of sticks being stronger together as one than each of them separately.

       To stare at broken boughs, themselves worthy of the moniker "tree" in their own right, stuck in the still strong limbs below their breaking point and just -- MARVEL -- at their resilience, tenacity and determination to continue to live.  (You know I can't riff this unless I truly believe it.  No-one can spin this out as fast as they can type if they're only attempting to be clever.)

       I climb trees still to this day and I am fifty-one.  If I can shinny up the bole, I'll climb dang near any tree.  I will certainly do so in order to get any of my disc-golf discs higher than I can reach.  I'll even happily take another stroke if I don't have to harm the tree to get my discs.  Less happy if I can’t reach it without damaging the tree, because I’ll leave my disc instead.

       I am so conscious of nature that I have a hard time walking and blazing a trail on my property.  I could be stepping on all sorts of bugs (except I don't mind if I smoosh a dozen or thirty fire ants every step) or breaking plants that are pretty flowering natives, or that I'm bending and breaking the grass stalks.  I worry about my damaging effect in nature.

       Then I wise up.  I recognize that I am overly conscious to the point of ridiculous anxiety with regard to my impact on the world around me.  I still think in wondrous childlike concepts when I'm out in nature.  Hopefully, though, it is tempered, like the Sequoia Redwood, through the experience of a fully-committed-to-life life wherein I see the sweep of things over time.

       I think in larger and longer terms than a mere decade or score of years and still enjoy each moment, even those that are painful or full of sorrow.  I do so, because I am, like the Lodgepole pine in Rocky Mountain Granite, clinging to life; and each living moment -- good or bad -- shapes me into the strong and healthy tree I had to become in order to survive in the first place.  There is strength still in these limbs.

       As much as I love trees and have loved them all my life, I am still being “taught” by trees in all sorts of ways.  You’d think I could recite all sorts of tree types and such like – and mostly you’d be right – but these days it’s what I know in general about all trees and plants that really makes me marvel at the miracle that is plant life.  More so, it’s not what I know about trees, it’s what I know from them.

       Trees taught me all sorts of things.  They taught me that scrapes and bruises are pretty easy to get, sometimes no matter how careful you are, so don’t fret and explore your limits.  They taught me about physics, motion and gravity in all manner of ways.  I learned how hard it was to get your head whacked by a branch, or to get slammed in the gut, chest or thigh as your lesson in “free-fall” wasn’t so free of object lessons on the way down.  I learned that not closing my eyes and doing my best to grab hold, spin and use softer parts of me to hit things on the way down was better as a survival skill than simply screaming as you fell.

      I learned to curb my over-impetuous actions due to the lessons taught to me by my tree teachers.  I developed what I call the Three Limb Rule:  Never have less than Three Limbs of yours on the Limbs of the Tree.  In other words, I learned that, even fast clambering up a tree required three solidly connected limbs of yours, hanging cleanly onto some part of the tree.  Unless you were planning on leaping out of the tree or practicing some other skill like hanging by your arms -- or if walking a narrow beam was something you were interested in doing -- you kept two hands and a foot; or two feet and a hand on something while the fourth limb searched for contact.

       I have stared deep into the open holes within the trees.  I have sometimes found beehives inside of them, hanging from them or even found -- once -- what appeared to be a still living tree being used as a beehive of tremendous proportions.  I’ve fallen out of and jumped out of so many trees that I came to believe I was possibly part squirrel.  These experiences have changed me fundamentally.  I cannot relate to people who don’t respect trees and how much they offer us in so many ways.

       How many times have I picked up a leaf off the ground, felt its texture, inspected its veins and patternings in the shape of the leaf itself?  I cannot say, for I have long ago lost count.  Yet each time brings to me a new sense of astounded wonder.  The more I learned about biology and botany, the more awestruck I became.  Answer me, all the science in the world so far, "How does life start?"

       Isn’t it amazing that we can, as living things, come to a point of consciousness that we can reflect on the meaning of our ability to be conscious and reflect that it brings to us – or should – that sense of wonder at the amazingly miraculous series of events that it took to get us from single cells to what we are now: complex, multicellular constructs, known as organs and tissues, all working in a synergistic and cooperative fashion to allow the mind to function in such a way as to be able to understand all that on a technical level – and still wonder, “How did we get here?”  And it’s all right there in one package.  In the depths of a single acorn, or the plethora of potential in a pinecone there lies this wonder of life.

       Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life and the World Tree all have several things in common, irrespective of which culture, ancient tribal people or country wishes to think they can lay claim to having come up with the symbology in the first place.  In all such depictions of these trees, the roots go as deeply down and wide underground as do the boughs and branches spread up and out into the sky.  The half-and-half composition reflects in Celtic, Nordic, Teutonic, Gallic and Saxon myths and legends in much the same way as the Yin and Yang symbol of the Far East portrays the balance between light and dark, above and below, life and death, positive and negative energies, harmoniously represented in an equal share of the symbology.

       In most every culture on the planet, the tree has figured highly as a symbol of long life, strength, comfort and fertility.  All ancient and Shamanic tribal cultures that lived amongst or near them revered the spirit of the tree.  When trees were cut down, they were cut down whilst giving thanks for what they would provide for those who took them.  They thanked the spirit of the trees for their gifts that would give them survival through fire, tools, shelter and defense.  The cost was the life of the tree.

       I believe in those spirit manifestations.  Not in the tribal sense that there’s a spirit or nymph or sylph living in each tree, that’s just silly – even if it’s a nice fantasy story mechanic.  No; I mean: in the sense that we recognize the spirit of living things in general, perhaps in the Earth itself as a living organism a la the Gaia Hypothesis.

        The Gaia Hypothesis is basically this: The Earth is essentially a complex “living” organism.  It includes, as components of it’s structure, all living things on its surface.  It might not qualify as a sentient being, mind you, but it could arguably be claimed that, due to the complexity and efficiency of regulatory systems,  acting as organs and tissues to the planet -- in much the same way our heart, lungs, spleen, kidneys and stomach do for us -- to help by operating in a synergistic and cooperative way to support the planet itself.  In this respect it is, in some sense, “alive.”

       But let’s get back to trees.  Have you ever really looked at the barks of trees?  No two tree species has the same bark.  Sure, you’ve seen one tree you’ve seen them all.  Hah!  Check out the difference in the pattern and texture of a Coconut Palm with an Aspen.  Even the leaves are completely different.  See the simplicity of evergreen needles and compare them to the large and complexly lobed White Oak leaves.

       I used to watch trees swaying in the wind, wondering, "How hard did the wind have to blow to break them off?"  I’ve seen trees that had large, gnarled and thick boughs that had all been broken off about ten feet from the bole of the tree.  The resultant shoots off the end of those boughs acted like tiny branches.  Most of them, as nature designed them to do, went up straight, looking for more light.  The tree -- broken but not done -- lived on.

       I’ve seen forest fires ravage literally thousands of acres of woods in just a few hours.  At first glance, it all looks like it’s gone forever.  But wait!  Many trees in such situations, if they are older, can outlive the fire, losing leaves and smaller branches.  The deeper and thicker boughs and bole survive, sending out sprigs of green shoots only days after the first rains in the appropriate season.

       And look!  On the ground!  Shoots of seedlings popping up all over!  But wasn’t there a huge fire, burning everything in it’s path, destroying the forest?  Yes, and it’s been going on for so much longer than mankind has been around that, slow as they may seem, the forests, the trees themselves, have adapted to even making fire a reason to grow.

      Tree seeds are hardy things.  Some lay dormant, still viable for years, getting buried under the seasonal fall of leaves, rains and dust over time.  A fire comes through and now the heat cooks off most of the grounjd cover and possibly the outer shell of the seed, or its container, such as a pod or cone.  This seems to activate the seed and the next series of rains, combined with more sunlight (the fire has burned off the undercover and the overstory of foliage) makes the seed produce a shoot – because of the fire.  Ingenious!

       The Tree’s symbology as earlier noted, also indicates the necessity for strong roots, combined with branches reaching up, attempting to go higher and get more light.  Wow, that could never be a metaphor for wisdom, right?  You know, a broad base of solid and well-known experiential information combined with the practicality of realizing knowing more is always a good thing, too.  It’s just as applicable to the idea of science, wherein we ask questions, make observations and take nothing for granted.  Rooted in rational and measurable facts, but willing to expand, question its limits as well as its foundational principles to ensure it stays healthy, growing and strong.

       As much as we have learned and as much as we realize we know now that, in the past, we simply didn’t comprehend about life, we still don’t really know how it starts, why it’s here or what processes, in their variety, help to engender a planet, rich with living things, both plant and animal from pole to pole, literally.  Through all this life, this growing, thriving, teeming place, the trees and plants have been genetic and descendant witness through most if not all of it on the surface of the land.  That's some staying power.

       If we could but listen to the trees, learning their wisdom, their experiences, oh what a different mind man would have.  We’d hesitate to take life, simply because we’d understand how potentially important each living thing is.  We may learn new ways to exist, to work, to play, to grow if we only stopped long enough to listen to the whispers of the leaves as the breeze slides gently between each leaf, lobe and each expanse of chlorophyll laced biological solar power collectors.

       I listen to the trees.  I hear what they’re saying.  The information has changed me.  If I could describe to you any better their message than what I have poorly attempted to convey here, you also would be changed.  You wouldn’t be able to help it.  So, don’t take my word for it, go find out for yourself.

       Listen to the trees.  Don’t be in a hurry; trees have their own sense of time and it doesn’t fit with what’s inside your digital wristwatches, clocks in your phones, or the timing hum of your GPS tracking device.  If you open yourself up to this holistic form of cross species, cross kingdom communication, you’ll come to a knowing of a wisdom deeper even than the roots of your own Yggdrasil and stretching higher than any branch can reach. 

     You will be changed.  This change is permanent.  It is good.  Learning to listen to the trees brings you and everyone who can or does, that much closer to a communion of spirit that includes all life.  That sort of growth, however, takes the time and patience of those who truly seek that growth.  You have been invited, Oak, Ash and Pine have all told me so.

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This is fantastic! What a great thinker and writer you are. Your topic "what kind of a tree would I like to be" would make an interesting Open Call.
Thanks "oregami" for the kind words! And maybe you're right, though I must stress, my emphasis was:

If I Were a Tree, Oh *What* a Tree I Could Be

Still, picking a tree and expressing one's self in an ideological and philosophical way as to which kind of tree that would be is also one of those things that I think many people can actually relate to while opening up their creative pathways.

Thanks for reading, rating and most importantly, for commenting!
Thanks Kate! You know, I have it on my bio list as being a long time game player and game designer. One of my favorite character types in Dungeons and Dragons is the Druid. That character type doesn't do very well in classic dungeon crawls, but out in the natural world, the Druid can reign supreme, calling on animals and plants to defend and attack, as well as in higher levels to literally call down the elements (or call them up) or bring forth magical creatures to aid them.

In my opinion, they're really cool when it comes to forest and swamp adventures. Don't fool with Mother Nature, there's probably a Druid nearby who won't like it. And that can be the makings of a really bad day for anyone up against a Druid in their demesne.

Oh I wax poetic on subjects of interest. Luckily I am interested in just about everything.

As to trees, we go way back. Someday, I may write the post of falling sixty feet out of a tree and into a creek -- direct hit, no damage.

In the meantime, if everyone can get over Barak Obama's Support of Gay Marriage, I hope they can take the time to relax and listen to a tree. If that's not a good option, maybe they can come over and read this post.

Thanks again, Kate!
Excellent ode to trees, Dunn. I concur heartily with your sentiments and love for trees though I stopped climbing them a lifetime ago, not being a fan of falling. No part squirrel here, apparently. I like many varieties, but today I'll list: sycamore, Chinese elm and our California native coast live oak. Sycamore leaves are some of the most beautiful things in nature.
We think a lot alike here. ...": in the sense that we recognize the spirit of living things in general, perhaps in the Earth itself as a living organism a la the Gaia Hypothesis." I'm not a religious person and don't even understand what being a "spiritual" person means. I do, though, have a great love of nature, feel renewed sitting among trees or even tall grass, and marvel at the things living in the things that live on other things. R
Candace, if I ever get the chance, I'm going to have to invite you and anyone else that would like to go, to take a hike up into the Yosemite High Country, bring plenty of water, batteries for your cameras, extra socks (you can never have too many socks.) The Pinon (I can't present an N-yay, you know the n with a tilde over it) Pines, Sequoia, Aspens, Lodgepole Pine and all manner of other tree types are up there and, due to the overall climbing necessary to get up there, only the most environmentally conscious folks tend to make the trek past Half Dome.

Maybe I can find some of my old photos in my car canopy garage (important note, I haven't seen the box since I moved in 12 years ago this August.) If the negatives are still good, I think I'll try to crowd source the funds necessary to get them converted to disc. Yes, I have that many old style photos. Got a lot of good photos from Yosemite, Lassen, Shasta, Mono Lake, Sequoia National Park, and many, many others both in California and beyond.

Oh and I mustn't forget to include my coastal photos from Point Marin. That's worth a whole blog in and of itself.

In the meantime, stay tuned for my upcoming Spring Flower Extravaganza. Should be up by next week, I think. I'm still collecting all the names of the flowers. It's a pretty dang big list.

escrito, I am not a religious person at all. As a registered and certified Shaman (I do some crazy shit, I tell ya) the concept of spirituality is a hard one to describe to anyone that doesn't already have it cold. The issue was made clear to me when I attempted to discuss the nature of spirituality and she immediatly rejected it, because in her mind they were essentially the same thing.

Spirituality, in the strictest sense of it, is merely the recognition that we all have a deeper connection to all life and all things that goes beyond mere physical state. It's this connection that sustains our sense of peace and calm, that re-energizes us and allows us to keep plugging away at the reality we have been convinced is IT when it comes to what reality really is.

That you find yourself refreshed and recharged by being in nature is a piece of evidence that puts into perspective my above explanation, I think. That's soulful, spiritual connection.

As to the Gaia Hypothesis, I think, in the strictest technical sense the planet cannot be considered to be alive. One of the conditional requirements to be considered a living organism is the ability to reproduce. I don't think the Moon can be counted as an offspring unless it was stillborn.

Beyond that, the Earth is an amazing machine. The plates of crustal matter literally float on the magma, which is considered "plastic" or liquid. These plates can slip and shift, creating earthquakes, volcanoes, thermal vents and all manner of disturbances the we puny humans think of as catastrophic.

This is basically the planet's skin. It's believed that the reason we occasionally find Wooly Mammoths encased in ice with still undigested daisies in their gut is from what is called a crustal shift. How does that happen?

It's predicated on the plates having momentum and direction of movement that gets going in opposition to the magma flow and gets compounded by the rotation momentum of the solid inner metal core. Everything hits this "golden moment" of angular momentum and velocity and voila! The entire crust "slips" and suddenly, in say the time of possibly only a day or two, the crustal plates slip in some direction, en masse, anywhere from 200 miles to well over a 1,000, maybe much more.

While there's no way to test this idea empirically, the geological and paleomagnetic evidence suggests that this might be how Ice Ages in times past occurred in places that are now tropical. This idea competes with the actual tilt of the Earth's plane (currently 23.5 degrees) having moved, like a wobbling top. This wobbling is also not empirically testable and the idea pretty much covers the same results of the crustal shift, only I think the speed of the effect favors crustal shift. I wobbling tilt like that would compound all manner of things and we should see more evidence to support it in terms of geological indicators.

And all that is just the hypothetical effects happening to Earth's skin. Everything we look at in the world keeps being able to be looked at in finer detail and at smaller scales until, at some point, we will be examing the atomic structures within living creatures as they live and breathe, as well as be able to look at those same structures deep in the earth to understand the complexity that is Gaia

See what happens when I start talking about trees? All kinds of stuff comes up!


Thanks all for reading, rating and more importantly, commenting.
"How many times have I picked up a leaf off the ground, felt its texture, inspected its veins and patternings in the shape of the leaf itself?" . . . and then placed it between the pages of a cherished book to remain with me. . . You sound a lot like me in many ways in your love and respect of trees, which expands to nature at large, my friend. Your knowledge of their names and different species is far superior to mine, but I too am awed by trunks, barks, textures and roots as you have seen in "Genesis". This is an exquisite piece that expresses what I felt, walking through Longwood Gardens, responding in photos to all that spoke to me that day.

Thank you for putting your knowledge into words and sharing it all. I admire your curiosity and the wisdom you seek in nature.

RRR♥
Thanks, FusunA -- for EVERYTHING having to do with this essay. I wonder at how two incidental passengers on the planet somehow carom off each other to create things in this manner? If being a tree-hugger means having to take guff from the less naturally enlightened, then call me a tree-hugger. It's a badge I wear proudly. Yours has already been emailed to you, it's a virtual badge, so it didn't cost anything for digital shipping. :)

As to my knowledge of botany, well, it's not bad compared the next layman over, but as far as academic skill, I am really a neophyte -- which is not to be confused with a saprophyte, like an orchid -- I think. I do have this crazy ability to retain a lot of data in my noggin, though and it provides me no end of opportunity to say things I think everyone knows (I mean they went to most of the same classes I did, even if they are thirty years younger than me) only to find out that they don't remember anything from their classes except that they passed with an A or a B.

So what seems to be "normal" for me in terms of data retention is clearly beyond average. The funny thing is, it makes me feel more weird than exceptional, even though I know it is fairly exceptional.

So I hope that those with less exceptional recall will forgive my enthusiasm to share. I don't do it to be superior, I do it because I so want to share with others all the stuff I think is, in my own longishly coined phrase: far-out-cool-neato-bitchin'-peachy-keen.

In return, I hope to be able to find out what others think is cool stuff that they know which I don't. Or maybe someone else out there can say something that so resonates it inspires me once again to write something like this -- only completely different.

Thanks again, FusunA, this piece wouldn't have happened without that you posted "Genesis." This piece is just as much yours as it is mine.
After I get some sleep, I will return to re-read this post tomorrow.
I understand this very well, Dunn. I have long been a fan of the forest and the song of the wind through the trees served, once long ago, to help heal me and bring back a measure of sanity I lost in a faraway war.
Your post brought back memories of Joyce Kilmer's poem entitled
TREES. So much to think about. Am blessed to live in a wooded area and will go for a walk later. Thank you.
I tried conversing with trees a few times, got me arrested. What? Ooooo, you meant...sorry!! :D

Rated!
What a beautiful essay, dunniteowl! "If we could but listen to the trees, learning their wisdom, their experiences, oh what a different mind man would have. We’d hesitate to take life, simply because we’d understand how potentially important each living thing is. We may learn new ways to exist, to work, to play, to grow if we only stopped long enough to listen to the whispers of the leaves as the breeze slides gently between each leaf, lobe and each expanse of chlorophyll laced biological solar power collectors." So beautiful & true! Thanks so much for sharing your meditations on trees!
Jmac and David: Thank you for the kind words. I know I'm a strange guy. Beyond being told, "You talk too much," the only other phrase I continuously heard all my life was, "Dude, you're strange," in one form or another. Never cared about either opinion, really, inasmuch as they were generally intended to make me shut up.

If I can share some of that strangeness with others, though, I have often discovered that strange could almost be the new "normal." I honestly believe that it's only a matter of degree and focus of interest that helps us to determine who the crazies are and who they aren't. The truth, near as I can tell, is that we're all fookin' looney about something. Might as well be crazy about peace and contentment, I say.

Tinkertink: Silly kitty! I said listen not converse. Everyone knows Converse are just shoes for playing basketball. So take off your shoes and climb the tree. You could even be mistaken for the Cheshire Cat. And don't forget to be nice and fertilize.

Ande and Kathy: Thank you both for the kinds words and compliments! May the goddess Mother Nature smile upon you both from the green leafy expanse of cooling branches overhead.

clay ball: and thank you as well. When someone quotes a passage of mine to indicate it's resonance with them, I am always well pleased. The one thing I can do these days is share what I experience and how it affects my mind and soul. If anyone finds that of value, then I consider myself blessed.

In person, I am still pretty witty; just a lot harder to digest face-to-face. I know this from personal experience. I think I need to get a t-shirt that says, "Help! I started talking and I can't shut up!"

I think it'd be apropos for me. BSEG (Big Bleep Eating Grin)

As always, I thank you all for reading, rating and best of all, commenting.
I just saw a little boy way up high in the branches of an evergreen this morning at the park. I don't know if he was communing with the tree or conquering it. Lovely post.
Thank you, Sarah. I climbed them as a kid to get another view of the terrain. I have fond memories of sitting in the cross of two fallen pines in the woods of Washington state that had another fallen tree in the cross. I could sit like thirty or forty feet above the ground, because of the hill and how light I was. Peaceful.

I hope that anyone reading this can at least catch a mental glimpse of such calm sensation.
"Isn’t it amazing that we can, as living things, come to a point of consciousness that we can reflect on the meaning of our ability to be conscious and reflect that it brings to us – or should – that sense of wonder at the amazingly miraculous series of events that it took to get us from single cells to what we are now: complex, multicellular constructs, known as organs and tissues, all working in a synergistic and cooperative fashion to allow the mind to function in such a way as to be able to understand all that on a technical level – and still wonder, “How did we get here?” And it’s all right there in one package. In the depths of a single acorn, or the plethora of potential in a pinecone there lies this wonder of life."

Yes, utterly amazing and I think of it often. This piece is terrific, owl.

Lezlie
Thanks Lezlie! Glad you liked it, truly. I hope that I get more inspiration like this. I have seen a LOT of negativity around the world lately, but I suspect it is simply the way the News covers events. I don't mind that they report negative events, but shouldn't a "fair and balanced" informational network also be devoting Equal Time to the positive and uplifting events? Who says we don't like good news or that we don't need to hear good news, too?

Look at Cranky Cuss' post about "The World Sucks." I find myself in the same boat and the only thing that keeps me going is that if I don't find, on my own, ways to provide a more positive note, more about the potential for mankind to know right from wrong, crazy from sane and compassionate over cruel then I give the negative energy crowd exactly what they want -- less light and hope in the world.

So I decided that while I may have some very negative views of our current world situations, I wish to spin out a note of hope for positive change that is effected by voices lifted in unison out of a true desire to give our children what we really all do want: A better place to live.

I think, if people would take the time to appreciate mother nature and recognize that not only are we an intrinsic part of that nature, but, that without out it, we would all rapidly perish -- then maybe we could put a kaibosh on rampant greed, human suffering, warfare and all the petty bickering we allow the spoiled brats of the world who think they actually own the countries they are supposed to be guiding for a common cause to carry on. Truly, it should be obvious -- to anyone that cares to really examine our world situation -- what a mess we're in right this minute.

It's not too late! We have the power to agree on clean air, healthy food, work in your country from a company that calls itself a manufacturer of American goods (or any other country for that matter) where the workers being paid can afford to pay their bills from their accounts and have money left over to put away for whatever they deem fit, without having to worry if their jobs will be shipped overseas, because some CEO can pocket more money without providing displaced workers the opportunity to be able to prosper. There's more to business than simply making a profit. That's only part of the equation.

You see, I don't think most people even need to listen to the trees to figure all this out. However, once you can tune in to the longer term thinking that is a tree's regular hurried pace, the way business is run now starts looking a whole lot like a "get rich quick" pyramid scheme. And when you can gain that viewpoint, you start examining your world with a different set of filters that are available to us beyond the "normal" ones our different societies, countries and cultures place upon us for everyday use.

I think if more folks took the time to really thank Teddy Roosevelt for starting our National Parks System by using them consciously for what they are best at: destressing and creating a greater sense of peace, calm and willingness to work things out peacable-like; then I am willing to bet we could cancel the momentum of the break-neck train ride we seem to be on that seems to thrive on radical and intolerant points of view, ignores facts over magical believing it just ain't so and engages in direct personal attacks on the integrity and character of others as it's 'de rigeure' craziness we've seen this last decade especially.

Come on, people, grab your hiking shoes, a hat, some water and go listen to a tree -- hell pay attention to an entire forest of them! I promise, even the most citified person can benefit from this and it is one of the cheaper and quieter methods of psyche therapy you're bound to find.

Thanks again everyone for reading, rating and most of all, commenting.

I am but a single voice, a small stone tossed into a great pond.
You who read my messages of positive vibration are struck by the first ripples of that stone. From there, the thoughts you have that cause you to reflect on a better world, a more positive and loving place, will be another stone tossed onto those waters. More stones, more ripples and more vibrational change.

Soon, it will be like a raining down of stones in the pond, making the ripples look like a gaint pattern of overlapping ripples coming from all directions. When that is in the bright light of one truth we all will be living in a better world: We are all connected. We are connected to All.

Occupy Your Mind.
A fabulous post. I am a tree hugger as well as a huge lover of nature. When Spring arrives I come to life again./r
Great article, should be required reading/ studying in every junior high and high school. Churches too, if they ever wish to "get real."

I grew up in a town that had many trees and fields and in my younger days spent many a night sleeping under old pine trees. I often listened to the soft whisper of the wind in those tall pines, a sound I learned decades after moving away actually had an Indian name: Syosset.

And that happened to be the very name of the town itself, on Long Island, N.Y.
Thank you very much, Christine Geery for the kind words. I keep hoping that I reach more people who recognize that we are also part of nature and we do our best when we're in it and harmonizing as well as possible to use it without abusing it. Like blowing the tops of mountains completely off to get at the coal, leaving narrow, debris strewn moraine where once a sweet creek and hollow once was -- not just one, dozens of them from one topping. I know it gets the coal out easier, but is it really worth doing *that* just to make a better profit? Isn't making a profit steadily enough?

So yeah, I'm a tree hugger, but I don't support going out and spiking trees to stop loggers and logging, or to try to sabotage oil rig equipment or anything like that -- this only makes the problem worse and destroys any credibility of a moral higher ground. My intent is never to ratchet up the stakes, but to clearly and plainly inform people where to find the facts and understand what the stakes currently are. I think waking up to that alone should scare the shit out of any rational person.

Sorry, that's just my style of riffing on ideas as I respond, it's not directed at anyone in partiuclar as anything more than an encouragement that I think we all can do better and also deserve better from those who are not. No matter which camp you may think of yourself and others, we're all in the same big boat and the objective is not to have to toss anyone overboard while we make the boat as comfortable and stable as we can.

Daniel Geery (any relation to Christine by any chance?) thanks for that little bit of information. Isn't it interesting how things have a sort of synchronicity to them? You loved the sounds of the wind in the trees, and found out later you lived in the town of Wind In The Trees. That's so cool.

As to required reading -- wow, truly ennobling praise for which I humbly wonder -- am I really worthy? Though thanks tonnes for that (you have to say, "tonnes" with an Oxford English clip.)

Spread the word and be the stones in the pond. Ripple on.
Just goes to show you how inspiration can grow from a seed to a tree of poetic delight and more.
This essay about trees rocks. Wait...

Seriously, this was marvelous. I could almost hear the breeze and the sound of leaves waving in the sun. Leaves that will "sort of" die and return to the earth to start the process, again. RRR
Dunni,brilliant thinking..I trully adore trees,all kind of them.For me they are statues and still to this age I stare at them with such a resρect.They are to me even more useful than ρeoρle,giving fruits and beauty and health,without saying "look what I did",with no deρression and conflict,just work in silence ...and what a work..the kind of which if it did not exist..the world would not exist.I am totally to trees and statues in love.I would be a cyρress.I love them..I like their solitude,their seriousness,their aristocracy,the silence,the fact that they stand as guards in the graveyards,their mystical essence,their being,although not fruitfull at all..they stand as guards....Dunni,I trully admired your work,your ode to trees...it was one of my thinkings...so jealous of such a magnificent work!!!So rated..you brought ρoetry and creative thinking here!!!And thank you for this....