To Love a Tree

     More than 30 countries have an annual holiday devoted to the appreciation and care of trees.  In the United States, for example, Arbor Day is celebrated the last Friday of April.  In South Korea, Tree Loving Week is held in early April.  

     In appreciation and celebration of trees, I post here a short piece written by Jiddu Krishnamurti.  Primarily known as a great teacher and thinker, Krishnamurti (1895-1986) also wrote lovingly and beautifully about the natural world.  This excerpt is from Krishnamurti to Himself.

     “There is a tree by the river, and we have been watching it day after day for several weeks when the sun is about to rise. 

     “As the sun rises slowly over the horizon, over the trees, this particular tree becomes all of a sudden golden.  All the leaves are bright with life, and as you watch it as the hours pass by, that tree, whose name does not matter–what matters is that beautiful tree–an extraordinary quality seems to spread all over the land, over the river. 

     “And as the sun rises a little higher, the leaves begin to flutter, to dance.  And each hour seems to give to that tree a different quality.  Before the sun rises, it has a somber feeling, quiet, far away, full of dignity.  And as the day begins, the leaves with the light on them dance and give it that peculiar feeling that one has of great beauty.  By midday its shadow has deepened, and you can sit there protected from the sun, never feeling lonely, with the tree as your companion.  As you sit there, there is a relationship of deep abiding security and a freedom that only trees can know.

     “Toward the evening, when the western skies are lit up by the setting sun, the tree gradually becomes somber, dark, closing in on itself.  The sky has become red, yellow, green, but the tree remains quiet, hidden, and is resting for the night.

     “If you establish a relationship with it, then you have relationship with mankind.  You are responsible then for that tree and for the trees of the world.  But if you have no relationship with the living things on this earth, you may lose whatever relationship you have with humanity, with human beings.  We never look deeply into the quality of a tree, we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree.  Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sounds of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.  You must be extraordinarily sensitive to hear that sound.  This sound is not the noise of the world, nor the noise of the chattering of the mind, not the vulgarity of human quarrels and human warfare, but sound as part of the universe.”–J. Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti

3 Responses to “To Love a Tree”

  1. Diane Artz Furlong Says:

    So now, instead of just sitting under my pine tree (The Singing Tree) and listening to the wind’s song in the needles, I will lie on the ground with my ear pressed to the earth over the tree’s roots and listen and listen. Or I will lean against the strong trunk with my ear against the sappy bark and know that I am hearing again the song of the Cosmos.
    This was a lovely post. Thank you

    May I invite you, April, to view the display of tree art in honor of Earth Day now on view at 181 W. King Street in Strasburg?

  2. Jude Pardee Says:

    Krishnamurti’s books — I think they were called Conversations on Living — were my first introduction to Buddhist thought, in the 70s. Each chapter summarized a counseling session with people who came to him. As much as the wisdom in his conversations, I was deeply moved by Krishnamurti’s beautiful description of a scene from nature that preceded each conversation.

    A big part of my work on this little farm of mine has been planting and caring for scores of new trees. Some native plums, Nanking cherries and current bushes are in bloom today and chokecherry, sour and sweet cherries, Santa Rosa and greengage plums, old and young apple trees and Elberta and Hale Haven peachtrees are not far behind. Now if we escape a serious freeze, we can hope for fruit.

  3. Jude Pardee Says:

    I mean “currant.” I cringe when I misspell a word…

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