The Importance of Trees

I've written two novels now, with a third at the copy editor at this moment, and I don't know if I could have done it without trees.

Where we last lived, we lived among redwoods. Here we have pines and cedars all around us. When I look out a window, I look out at trees. They calm me. They inspire me. I feel a connection to them. The first time we came to the house after having signed the lease, I looked around and hugged a few trees.

It's easy to forget about them, even though they're all around me. I can become caught in a whirl of activity, where I become focused on checking off items on my internal “to do” list. But when I'm staring at a computer screen and I feel at a loss, I try to remember to take a moment and gaze at a tree. They're majestic. They've lived a long time. They have stories. They seem to want to tell them. I'm trying to develop tree ears. I want to learn their language. It seems that a lot of it has to do with “doing nothing,” of sitting still, of paying attention and respect. I have learned that much from the trees so far.

I count the trees among my muses. I think they get frustrated with me because I don't pay them the proper respect. Every day, I try to walk among them. I'm trying to get to know them. But I'm also trying to get some exercise. I'm listening to a podcast on marketing as I walk because I want to make sure that I'm “getting things accomplished” in this block of time. I'm hoping that I can start looking up more. I'm hoping I can slowly shut off the noise and get to know them. I think they have a lot to tell me.

Perhaps you now officially think that I'm crazy, or maybe you knew that long ago. Maybe this sparks something in you that you've always known on some level. Are there things in Nature that take you to a deeper place? How do you spend time with them? How do you honor them?