I have always felt such a strong connection to nature through trees, and especially the mighty sycamore. Countless lessons in life have been revealed to me as I’ve studied their forms and colors in all seasons.
Bruce knows that when the time comes, my ashes are to be scattered under the biggest sycamore he can find . . . one that stands alone in a field, its stark white branches spreading out from a massive trunk where it has spent years becoming strong and beautiful through all the storms it has endured.
When I recently overheard a guy talking about a ring of eight sycamore trees in the woods, I immediately asked for directions, knowing I had to find them to experience standing inside a circle of my favorite trees.
This magical opportunity – to be embraced by eight giant pillars of strength and energy, to feel their light and life wrapped around me – was something I had to do, a spiritual journey to connect with nature through my favorite trees, a worship service I couldn’t miss.
My whole being trembled with excitement . . . I spoke of the planned adventure, bubbling over with enthusiasastic anticipation as if I were taking off on a trip around the world.
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to make the trek . . . the weather was absolutely beautiful for a hike through the woods . . . 84 degrees, blue skies, sunshine, gentle breeze . . . thank you, thank you,thank you!
Holding the sketched map in my hand, we followed the directions . . . park your car . . . cross the bridge . . . follow the dirt path . . . turn left here . . . turn right there . . .
As we crossed the bridge, we were stopped in our tracks by the magnificent view of Hinkson Creek.
As we walked along, my eyes began earnestly scanning the woods for a glimpse of the brilliant white branches. It wasn’t long before I spotted them, nestled off the beaten path, standing like a beacon of light . . . beckoning me to come . . . sit, explore, discover.
In hushed voices, we carefully and quietly left the well-trodden dirt path and slowly made our way through the woods – walking on the soft bed of fallen leaves, stepping over limbs and trunks . . .
. . . our eyes fixed on the circle of trees.
It felt as if we were entering a church sanctuary.
God is the experience of looking at a tree
and saying, “Ah!” ~ Joseph Campbell
I was awestruck.
Nature’s worship service began.
I laid down on the bed of fallen leaves and looked up at the majesty and glory of those eight sycamore trees . . . standing tall . . . reaching to the brilliant blue sky.
giant sycamores reaching to the blue sky
The wonder is that we can see these trees
and not wonder more. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
One sycamore tree top against the blue sky
Look deep, deep, deep into nature,
and then you will understand everything. ~Albert Einstein
I am one with the sycamore trees.
I came to these woods to stand inside the circle of power and beauty and strength of eight giant sycamore trees . . . to marvel at the wisdom they impart . . . to sit, stand, lay down, jump and dance among these giants.
I received all that I hoped for, all that I imagined.
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim
upon men’s hearts,
as for that subtle something,
that quality of air that emanation from old trees,
that so wonderfully changes
and renews a weary spirit. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
We have thousands of miles yet to travel and thousands of trees yet to see . . . these eight sycamores that wrapped me in their arms will be with me in all that is yet to come.