I climbed the Naked Tree today: my favorite tree in the world. The sun is warm, the breeze cool. The fields around the great tree are bright yellow mustard. The breeze makes the mustard flowers move in swirling waves of unanimity. The Great Tree is suffused with strength: about 50 to 60 feet tall and utterly massive: its great gray truck splaying out in 10 different directions about 25 feet above the ground, then stretching outward and up, licking up sunshine, drinking wind with eager leaves.
I pressed my body against the huge trunk and felt its silent strength in stark contrast to its lithe, trembling twigs and clattering leaves all around me. Suddenly it was so clear: this Great Tree and its lessons; the wind whistling its counsel of radical forgiveness and release; the sweet burble of birds in natural song; and the silent earth beneath, resting in its massive weight, alive with glory-making fecundity.
Life… the great mystery, the supreme teacher, the Living beauty, the spontaneous happening just beyond the sphere of ideas and words. Why have we required more than this? I sensed in a moment of innocent clarity that we really can return to Paradise here in this world… that the fiery sword is not that horrid a fate to face and pass through: that it only kills bondage, that it only melts duality, that it only slays fear.
To hear poem: The Ecstasy of Trees