On the Planting of Trees
ON THE PLANTING OF TREES
The Chinese say to keep a green tree in your heart
and perhaps a singing bird will come.
Stretching fingertips to the starry skies above,
trees are perhaps silent, but they are far from dumb.
Reaching, praying, whispering in glorious exchange
with their mobile short-sighted human kin,
Trees sweeten our air by taking in what we exhale,
rewarding us with their breath, which we breathe in.
The storms of life make trees take deeper roots,
they have answers for any question a man seeks
they are witness to every change that occurs around them,
And so are the best possible kind of antiques.
To see trees dancing with the moon, framing bursts of stars,
we are gifted with their tender, rugged celebration,
a rooted chorus line holding the power of the universe,
every human beings chance to participate in creation.
Trees are beautiful in their peace; they are wise in their silence.
They will stand here long after we are all gone on to dust.
Beauty will have been added to this corner of the world
that to our children and grandchildren we will entrust.
There is much we can learn from the trees in our lives,
they are as grounded as it is possible to be,
yet they continuously strive to to touch the heavens above,
and without effort they remain uninhibited and free.
Trees are our most intimate contact with nature,
without artifice, never guarded, never coy.
A society grows great when old men plant trees
whose shade they know they shall never enjoy.
Blistering acts of making new life are often held in reserve
for gods in heavens above, or lowly poets in their hovel,
But today we can all partake in the creation of life
With little more than light, love, and a shovel.
So we travel through time when we plant a tree,
Regardless of the why, the where and the how.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
And yet the next best time is right now.