I love books, books I hold, and paper comes from trees, though a friend just sent me a card made from elephant dung in Thailand. It’s beautiful. Who knew?
When we moved here forty two years ago, there was a redwood tree in the yard. It was about twelve feet tall. Then the trunk began to divide and it rose as two, and now it’s a beacon in the neighborhood.
A child of this tree has begun to rise even closer to my home, and my husband says it should come out. I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s rising up rapidly, probably four feet now, a pet, a friend.
When my sons were young, they each received a redwood sprout at Scout-a-rama. We planted them, and as they grew, I bought bigger and bigger pots. One never rose higher than a few feet, but the other began to tower over our home, and clearly needed to come out. I saw so clearly how we can’t know what will nourish one being, and not another, or maybe it is that one is meant to grow, and one to squat, each knowing enough.
This morning this poem by Jane Hirshfield comes to me. It guides my day.
It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.
Even in this
you will have to choose.
That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books–
Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.
― jane hirshfield