“A Forest Song”

trees1-300x235 (1)Children of the Forest
Spirit of the Trees,
What magic spell awakes you
Whose wisdom makes you breath?
On summer moonlit evenings
I come to watch you dance
Join in your rejoicing,
Share in your romance.
Great Guardian of the forest.
Protector of the trees.
Your magic home enchants me
Let me be like the trees…
Let me be like the trees…  JS
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So there we were at the Marriott in Palm Desert. Actually the resort could be  just about anywhere. It actually has a sort of Hawaiian feel to it, as long as you remain on the grounds that is. For once you leave the resort you are definitely in the California desert. And although I don’t consider myself much of a desert type, there is a certain beauty to be found in the desert.
I’ve always thought of myself to be more of a mountain lake type of guy. I adore trees! I always have. Trees hold a kind of enchantment for me, something magical, almost mystical. I guess that is what I miss about the desert, there aren’t many trees, no mighty Oaks, Redwoods, Sequoia’s, pines or Douglas firs. I look at a tree and I see life in all it’s richness. You know, the whole symbolism thing, spring forth from a seed, develop strong roots, grow up tall and strong and reach for the heavens. Life in a nutshell.
I’m not really sure when I first became intrigued by trees,  probably when I was just a kid. My grandma had an old, gigantic avocado tree in her yard it’s branches thick and twisted. I loved climbing that tree and playing beneath it. My other grandparents had an even larger avocado tree that shaded their patio. My cousin Larry and I were always in that tree playing.
Then there was the old California Pepper tree that stood in the front of our yard when we lived in Baldwin Park. It was awesome. The main trunk split off in three directions about four feet from the ground. We were always in that tree. We even had a small platform built in it that served as our clubhouse. One summer my dad climbed high up in the tree and hung a length of thick rope from a branch. We were able to swing from the platform on one side of the tree all the way around to the neighbors side. It was pretty cool.
Soon after moving to Azusa, I began helping a friend pick avocados at his dad’s avocado grove up near Azusa Canyon. I used to climb high up in the trees and drop avocados down to him. Some days we would hike up the foothills behind the grove to a place called Seven Pines and just hang out. When I got older and started driving I’d often go up into the San Gabriel Mountains and sometimes Mt. baldy or Big Bear. The tree covered mountainsides were incredible! I loved to walk among the trees and listen to the wind. Then, of course, there were all the camping/water skiing trips I went on with my cousin Dave. Places that either took us through tree country or had tree covered campgrounds. Places like Pine Flats and Bass Lake in the Sierras, and Lake Nacimiento and San Antonio in Northern California.
When Ray and I designed our wedding invitations we had a large oak tree etched on the front  to symbolize fidelity and a strong commitment to our marriage. Strange, but the first poem I ever had published was about trees. As strange as it may seem, trees both, physically and symbolically, have long played a role in my life. I don’t know why, I guess I just have a certain affinity for them, a passion for their beauty and what they represent. I am mesmerized by them. They serve as an effective visual reminder of my goals and dreams, and magical, mystical or not, they bring me peace and calm my spirit, and that’s all that really matters isn’t it?
Just a thought…

J S

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