From the collection “A View From the Gorge”. Art inspired by the Columbia Valley River Gorge.
Vast roots hold trees of unbelievable size on cliff edges and along rock walls, defying the howling winds that whip through the gorge and push the branches forever in one direction and another. Standing next to this immensity after hours of climbing higher and higher leaves me feeling small. Sure, I climbed the mountain. But this “great calm being” has been holding on to the same mountain for hundreds of years.
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.
Tree, by Jane Hirschfield