Rocks

Books in sync with nature.

When is a tree more than a tree?

Last month I met a tree that was so unexpected, serene and downright Old Testament biblical, that it stopped me in my tracks and, for a little while, humbled my busy brain. I was in South Carolina with my St. Lynn’s compatriots Paul Kelly and Holly Rosborough, not far from Charleston. We parked the car and walked the short distance to a surreal setting where an ancient, impossibly-limbed tree was receiving visitors. This was the Angel Oak, a Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) thought by some to be more than 1500 years old. The first words out of my mouth were an awed, whispered We’re in a cathedral… Over our heads, the enormous canopy reached out in all directions, with long, angular limbs coming down from the heights to touch the ground in great arches. We lingered in this space while time slowed.

 

Pictures were being taken and hands placed against the ancient trunk, mine included. There were lots of smiles on the faces around us, but little tourist noise. Just a sense of happiness to be with this special creation of nature, this silent tree that seemed in a very real way to be offering comfort to the human spirit.

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