Sentinels and Sanctuaries

Ta Prohm temple, Angkor, Cambodia

Trees are Sentinels
Guarding, Nurturing, Protecting
Bastions of Dignity

Breathing life
Providing shelter
Asking for nothing
Sacrificing everything
– K. Earle

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Trees are sanctuaries.
Whoever knows how to speak to them,
whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.
They do not preach learning and precepts,
they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
– Hermann Hesse, Wandering

 Baobab Avenue, Morondava, Madagascar
Shalimar Gardens, Srinagar, Kashmir
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers.
Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary
than a beautiful, strong tree. 

– H. Hesse, ibid

Sahel, Mali
Darjeeling, India

Trees, proud standing people
stretching fingertips to the sky, reaching, praying
glorious attention, breathing light.
strength shelter timeless confidence
bending and firm comforting …
–  Wallace Stevens 

New York City, New York, USA
The Sahel, Africa

Planting trees early in spring,
we make a place for birds to sing in time to come.
How do we know? They are singing here now.
There is no other guarantee that singing will ever be.
– Wendell Berry

Songnisan National Park, Korea

No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples…
– John Muir

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Deep South, USA

A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.
– Hal Borland

Georgia, USA

I never saw a discontented tree.
They grip the ground as though they liked it, and
though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.
They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind,
going and coming like ourselves,
traveling with us around the
sun two million miles a day,
and through space heaven knows how
fast and far!
–  John Muir

Rajasthan, India

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