It is tragic and sorrowful when a mighty old master tumbles to the ground, considering how many hundreds of years it took to reach that stature. Trees have so much to teach us. There is no man wiser than a tree, but there are others who can say this more poignantly than I:
“I frequently tramped eight or 10 miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Each tree, each part of each tree, has its own particular destiny and its own special relationship to be fulfilled. We roam the world to find our relationships with these trees.” — George Nakashima
“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts; they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.” — Hermann Hesse
(And do read “The Wild Trees” by Richard Preston.)
Or, forget words, and see how artists and photographers convey their ardor for trees. Pictured here: Igor Svibilsky’s “Ancient Oaks IV.”
D&R Greenway Land Trust‘s exhibit Living Among Giants: Seeing the Forest for the Trees, on view through March 19, challenges viewers to consider the magnificent beauty of individual trees, and the importance of preserving them. An artists’ reception will take place Feb. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m. To register: 609-924-4646. The artwork can be seen on business hours, business days; call to check whether galleries have been rented on day of visit.
New Jersey poets will read work inspired by trees for the Poets’ Night Reading and Reception March 19, 6 to 8 p.m.
“Considered the oldest and largest living things,” observes D&R Greenway Curator Jack Koeppel, “trees are often overlooked and under-appreciated on their own merit. From earliest times, trees have helped make possible life on earth. I want visitors to see trees as individual living beings that teach us and lend their wisdom to our own lives.”