Archive for October 22nd, 2021


GC Myers- Cool Rising sm

Cool Rising– At West End Gallery, Corning

Very slowly burning, the big forest tree
stands in the slight hollow of the snow
melted around it by the mild, long
heat of its being and its will to be
root, trunk, branch, leaf, and know
earth dark, sun light, wind touch, bird song.

Rootless and restless and warmblooded, we
blaze in the flare that blinds us to that slow,
tall, fraternal fire of life as strong
now as in the seedling two centuries ago.

–Kinship, Ursula Le Guin

It’s pretty obvious by now that I am a tree person. I have always felt most comfortable in the company of the trees of the forest, more so than in the company of people. Well, most people– you guys are okay.

I grew up wandering in the woods. I have lived and worked in the woods for decades now. My great-grandfather and many other ancestors worked the forests of the Adirondacks and northern Pennsylvania. Some died in those woods.

I have planted trees and cleared trees to build, cutting down my fair share of trees. That is the one act that is my least favorite and done now only when absolutely necessary. And even then, it is done with great sorrow and with reverence toward the life of that tree. You see, after all the time spent among the trees one begins to sense and respect the rhythm of their life’s slow and patient metabolism.

They simply are.

There is something greatly comforting in their presence, their quiet and unflinching witnessing of the other worlds that live under and around them. Being among them slows my own heart rate, immerses me in a quiet state of mind that I find in few other places.

It’s a kinship of some sort, to be sure. Though most will long outlive me, I find myself acting as a protective guardian for them now. There is the hope that someday someone will meet one of the large shagbark hickories around our home and feel the presence of their being as I do.

And will then feel as enriched as I have felt.

The verse at the top from the late author Ursula Le Guin (1929-2018) aptly describes how I see the being of trees. Below is a reading of it from Amanda Palmer.

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