The Spirit of the Tree

The Spirit of the Tree

We came upon this lovely creature holding firm to the earth.














Today we went for a hike. It’s hot and bright in Southern California, and we have not had rain since the 4th of March. But the trees in the Thousand Oaks Arboretum are alive and green and providing lots of shade. When we came upon this one in the hush of soft breezes and the occasional bird call, the spirit of the majestic oak filled the place. Nature is calming and I wondered if across our planet we could all find some peace if we focussed more on such gifts.

We met another wanderer on the trail, and he pointed us in the direction of a narrow path that took us down by a stream. Yes, there was water tricking despite the drought and birds enjoying the quiet and profound calm of the place

The Spirit of the Tree

Water, creatures and trees bending over–such a lovely gesture.













As we walked on, the trees opened to a vista of sky, this one making us wonder if the spirits were playing with water colors, spilling some white paint into the blue, streaking it lightly.

The Spirit of the Tree

…streaking it lightly with white paint.










If you have had times when life was a struggle, that’s certainly true for nature. She is as tenacious as we are, her children lifting limbs with leaves, stems with flowers to the sun, working through the process of photosynthesis despite the lack of moisture. The plants in the photo below are thriving having decided that they can live without much water, if any.

The Spirit of the Tree

Hail to these survivors.










We were hot but exhilarated when we finished our two mile hike. We were grateful for a drink of water, yet more grateful to nature for the gift of amazing lavender and rosemary scents, buzzing insects, musical stream water and the ever attentive breeze. It’s a great stress reducer; it’s church–in the blowing grass, the waving branches.

For the spirit of creation is truly all around us. When we can, it is good to focus on it, soak it in. Even if your walk is punctuated with car horns and other traffic sounds–there should be one plant, one bright flower or bush shining somewhere, one tree for you to smile upon. The spirit of the tree–there to remind all of us to lift ourselves up–and hopefully to give back to others–like the tree continually does, shading us and sharing its constant strength.

Thanks to John Havey for the wonderful photos and the walk.

And thanks to Donna Beckman Tagliaferri who sent me the following information which is so comforting. The official state tree of Nevada is called the Bristol Cone Pine, it lives for hundreds of years if it is in the wilderness where it has to fight to grow. If you put it in a protected area the life span is only a 100 years…. Strength comes from struggle.

The Spirit of the Tree

Thanks for stopping by.














16 thoughts on “The Spirit of the Tree

  1. What gorgeous photos of our Southern CA landscape. I love our oaks. I live at the beach so we have these little pygmy oaks–just as sturdy, but they only grow about twice as high as a person.

    This drought is tragic, but it’s made for one our our sunniest summers ever here at the beach. We live in paradise, but paradise can be precarious.

    • Oh, your words are full of weight. Paradise can be precarious and I pray for rain. It will feed our terrain but it might also help fight earthquakes. The combination is not good. Thanks for your post. Beth

    • Hey Friend,
      You are welcome. Nature can calm me down after reading the newspaper or listening to the news. Take care. Beth

  2. Did you take that beautiful ride on your anniversary? It is calming……
    Tom & I did a ride along The Lake front in Chicago the other day. Magnificent!
    Every time we do it, it takes our breath away, and we say we must do this more often!
    Interesting take on the drought & earthquakes………..
    With Christa in San Fran, my mom concerns are in high gear!!!!!!

    • Hi Gay,

      We loved your photo with the Sesame guys. We took these photos on Sunday when we did our walk. And I get the concerns about CA weather and its effects. I’m with you there. Beth

  3. Nice tree photos! Getting outside and walking is SO very important. I live in La Quinta where it’s been really HOT so I just get outside and walk about 6:00 a.m…and yes, the trees and nature are still there to greet me.

    • Hi Kathy,
      We are blessed with our trees. We usually walk around 9:00 am and depending on the day, I can get up a good sweat! Thanks for writing, Beth

  4. You look great!! And great pictures . Good story. It has been a marvelous rainy and green summer here. Looks like May and I am not exaggerating !

    Hope you get rain soon . It really helps my outlook on life!!


    • Hi Pat,
      So good to hear from you. I miss the rain, I really do. Not my sometimes leaking basement, but that blessed rain and how it feeds nitrogen to the soil and everything else. Hope you and your family are well, Beth

  5. Nature has always been the answer for me, so I especially loved your post. The photos are fabulous and you are so right in saying how wonderful the trees are. They tell stories, don’t they? Lovely post.

    • Thanks, Cathy, and yes I do believe trees tell stories. Maybe centuries ago I would have been a Druid, because I think they worshiped trees. I can understand that. Beth

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