An Elegy for Trees | On Being

Part of what calls to me is the complexity and beauty of trees. As Annie Dillard wrote, if you want to understand how complex a tree is, try making a scale model of one! As for beauty, few sights can rival yellow leaves dancing in the wind against the backdrop of a “blue true dream of sky,” to quote e.e. cummings.But most of all, I’m drawn to trees because of something W.S. Merwin says in this lovely poem — the way they slowly and quietly cycle through the seasons “as though nothing had happened” while our individual and collective lives whirl madly around them.Contemplating a tree with more than a few years on it helps me regain perspective on the events of my life — the good stuff and the hard stuff — that I can too easily inflate beyond their true importance in the scheme of things.Memo to self: Log more tree-time! (Pun intended…)

Source: An Elegy for Trees | On Being


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