Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Solitary Preachers

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 fulfill 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.
—Hermann Hesse

Have you ever found yourself staring at an image, a painting, even a landscape, and marveled at how the living creations within it grew there? How did they happen to be in that spot, at that moment, within that view?

I love Hesse's words about the solitary trees: "...they do not lose themselves there..." Solitary trees are the silent preachers in our world. They speak of survival and standing one's ground. They are the emblem of life that has carried on from far in the past and that will likely outlive us far into the future. They show us that it's good to be rooted as well as soaring into the sky.

What piece of nature do you admire most?