I could say that the most stunning, heart-opening, phenomenal thing I witnessed today was grove after grove of impossibly massive redwoods. Or even the fantastical two-storey tree house at It’s A Burl Art Gallery. And, yes, those all made me stare and grin like a happy fool, and I highly recommend them. But the image that lingers longest when I look back at the day is this:
Two people, who have loved each other for what must be nearly forty years, who still feel it and show it. The way they held hands among the ancient trees, the way he looked at her, the awareness each had of the other’s weaknesses, and the gentle space they still held for those very human tics rather than becoming dull and deadened (or stingy and sharp)– that was the miracle. That was the thing worth making this western pilgrimage for: magic that doesn’t diminish, that deepens, the way, perhaps, a community of trees will feed and support and, to make a bold assertion, love a stump and continue to keep the connections open and pulsing with nourishing sugars– not out of denial or desperation, but a true devotion.
It’s not a perfect analogy at all– it would fit more obviously with a caretaking sort of situation, but there’s a kindness I feel in it, and so much comfort in how not human it is, in how love, whether between trees or people, never actually has to be something anyone, including those involved, can explain.