Monday, May 25, 2015

The Oldest Trees

We went for a walk in Lacamas Lake Park today. The weekend had been warm but overcast, and I spent a lot of it dealing with a cold and resultant lack of sleep from having to prop up, but once outside and walking in forest and meadow, I perked up.

All the different shades of May green were there. Fir trees, alders, oak, holly, and a carpet of ferns, wild berries and wildflowers spilled at their feet; green lake water smooth as glass, interrupted by colorful canoes tracing delicate wake lines on its mirror. Happy families having picnics at the feet of the lake. Birds everywhere.

Up the hill, where the Camas lilies bloom, the lilies were forming seed pods amid the stony ground and the moss. Oaks in various states of disarray and snags stood boasting their age among the living trees.


Bounty in barrenness
In summer sun’s gold,
Crone trees with hollow hearts
Reach out, embrace, enfold.
Surrounded by the living green
Of tree and fern and moss,
They stand, their lives given to
The care of creatures lost.

Woodpeckers send messages
Tapping on their bones,
Squirrels store food and scold the jays
In autumn wind’s moans.
Harvest moon and starlight cold
The perfect light for owls
For whom the soft hollows are
Luxurious feasting halls.

The spring wind will sing through them
When forest flowers grow,
New life they will shelter
In the time of melting snow.
And after the winter fells them,
Or when fire leaves its trace,
The living earth will comfort them
In her loving green embrace.

© 2008 Darcy J. Scholts