¬† ¬†On a recent morning, my forest wanderings drew me to look at a downed tree. ¬†This mighty¬†chestnut¬†oak, who once soared high above the earth, has lain on the forest floor now for quite some time.
¬† ¬† I have seen this dead tree many times. ¬†But this day it was a marvel. ¬†Some fierce wind had once pushed it so hard that its giant root base was ripped right from the earth. ¬†Standing near the broad, tangled, sandy mass of roots, I looked out over the trunk’s length. ¬†On and on it snaked along the ground. ¬†Walking its¬†length was a journey of more than 30 steps.
¬† ¬† ¬†Imagine¬†being this tall, thrusting so far away from the ground. ¬†As I bent down and felt the furrowed bark along the tapering trunk, I thought how seldom I am this close to the top of a giant tree. ¬†Typically, I can observe a tree’s top only from far below. ¬†Those top branches are so far away. ¬†And here is the top of the tree, right beside me, so close, resting on the ground.¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† I love the chestnut oaks that dominate the forest near our house, whether standing and flourishing in leafy extravagance, or lying dead on the ground. ¬†Even this tree, the flow of life through its trunk stilled, feeds my spirit.–April Moore