Old Growth

The wind through the firs sounds
like the distant thundering South Pacific
from our island home, yet similarities end
there, ruddy nose running from unaccustomed
chill and fingers reluctant to part
from pockets;

It has been years since I rooted feet
in forest soil, younger and more absorbed
with survival, and it seems I never perceived
sensations so acutely, my skeleton awakened
as discrete and frail in companionship
with these massive giants, finger bones clad
insufficiently in thin shrouds of flesh,
tapping on keys as I attempt to record
a tangle of sensations since arriving
on this northwest spit of land;

Old growth firs harbor a resilience witnessed
in few places, save the redwood forests
of northern California, sudden winds damage
delicate saplings yet they continue growing
apace if not more determined into curvy
arboreal titans that dwarf mere human
presence; only massive metal contraptions
conceived by the minds of men can conquer
them lacking, as men do, unknown frontiers
yet to vanquish;

Ordered chaos is strewn everywhere,
detritus piled up, living jumble of oversized
matchsticks awaiting one careless spark; yet
when fires once regularly swept through
these forests (lightning-scarred trunks bearing
witness), the strongest survived and soil
was enriched, carbon craved by undergrowth, layer
upon layer assuring futures for generations
mirroring the content of life on the surface
of a planet defined by science but experienced
as a living poetry only nature can inscribe.

29 thoughts on “Old Growth

  1. “was enriched, carbon craved by undergrowth, layer
    upon layer assuring futures for generations
    mirroring the content of life on the surface
    of a planet defined by science but experienced
    as a living poetry only nature can inscribe.”

    So true. Loved the last lines. Living poetry it is!

  2. The Redwoods are blessed by Mother Nature, as they can battle all kinds of storms and fires with the connections they have with each other. Thank you for sharing stunning pictures.

  3. Wonderful, Bela! The captures resonate with your words and the beauty shines through. I remember when I first learned that fire is necessary to the preservation of the ecosystem. They have “prescribed” burns here which didn’t make sense to me until I researched and learned why. I still wonder sometimes if man taking matters into his own hands is the same as mother nature taking care of business.

    Sending “warm” thoughts and hope that you are well!

    1. Great to see you, Lorrie! And I’m pretty sure humans, even with the best of intentions (which of course doesn’t always happen) are in no way a match for mother nature’s ability to balance her own ecosystems.

      Reflecting back those warm sentiments and hoping that all is well in your corner of the world! ๐Ÿ’•

      1. Thanks, Bela ๐Ÿ™‚ I am in a good place….able to balance my feelings with responsibilities that must be met. Time marches on and I want to live it fully each day! Blessings to you โค

  4. Another beautiful poem paying homage to the trees of our earth. The photos here are spectacular, indeed. I have been through the Redwoods and these trees in your photos are quite big and one can tell, quite old. Thanks for sharing. Aloha!

    1. Thank you, Renee! Yes, old growth fir can be huge, but Redwood is king in the size department. Still, any old growth forest is wondrous to behold, for me. Talk about self regulating ecosystems!

      Best wishes for the week ahead. Blessings. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•

  5. Arrgh, Woods and Forests are my life’s breath.. So loved your narrative through this Bela.. and your pictures are stunning.. ‘Order out of Chaos’ so true within the woods generation.. those leafy floors composting and dry and rotten wood home for thousands of insects..
    Even the cycle of fires, set in motion the next cycle to come..
    Old and New regenerating together.. Ever changing in the light ..
    I can imagine you being unaccustomed to colder climes..

    I loved your words

    “and it seems I never perceived
    sensations so acutely, my skeleton awakened
    as discrete and frail in companionship
    with these massive giants,”………..

    Nothing quite as magical as a walk in the woods… My ears always listening, and my heart always open ..

    Great Photos.. Thank you Bela, so happy you enjoyed, and wonderful to be back here too, catching back up with you..
    No worries on catching up with me.. and not surprised WP unfollowed.. been getting a lot of that lately both others being cut off from following me, and me being cut from following others.. Whose to say what the Algorithms are up to ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love and Well wishes Bela.. โค

    1. Yes indeed on the algorithms! Thanks so much for your kind words, sweet Sue. I do miss walks in the deep forest, but I try to get to one a couple of times a year at least.

      We do have koa forests here; ohia trees and large ferns as big as houses. They are all stunningly beautiful. Yet I miss the variety of wildlife and trees that the mainland offers. Still, you won’t see me moving off this rock. I don’t think so, as we have become well accustomed to island life in the middle of the ocean. The lack of chaos and craziness suits us just fine. Even though we have our own version of it, it cannot touch what is happening elsewhere.

      Sending love and the hope that I can get back to your posts soon! I do miss your thoughts and words. ๐Ÿ’•โค๏ธ

      1. I can well imagine the beauty and peace of Island life Bela .. Sending love right back. As to my posts I embarked upon a series ‘Changes to Ourselves and the World.. I am working on part three as we speak.. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Enjoy your weekend Bela.. Much love right back โค

    1. Thanks so much, Betty. I’m having a heckuva time trying to keep up with WordPress and my daily Instagram posts. Life is inserting its chaos, even at the ends of the earth here.

      Here’s hoping everything is well with you and that you are spending time in ways that you find satisfying. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ

      1. Having the same trouble keeping up here too, Bela. Struggling with a few things as we all do at times. (Trying not to watch too much news…. it’s so toxic, and yet we need to know what’s happening on all levels, in order to understand the chaos of these times. Ack!)
        Wishing you peaceful, fulfilling, and joyful days where you are! ๐ŸŒžโค๏ธ๐Ÿค—

  6. I cannot take my eyes off the stunning visuals and word pictures here, Bela, as they are out of this world. Both nature and humans, it would appear, need the โ€˜ordered chaosโ€™ strewn strategically around to spur endless creativity. Pranams to the muse in you…๐Ÿ‘

    1. Many thanks, Raj. While we are content to live on a remote shore of this Hawaiian island for many reasons, I do love to visit the forests of the Pacific Northwest. I spent most of my life in the middle of a forest in Maine, after all … Yet east coast (where I lived) and west (where I visited) could not be more different. Where we had snow and ice in Maine, the northwest drips almost constantly with rain and vapor, creating a mossy wonderland of thick-skinned trees where a variety of wildlife can take refuge within and under their considerable canopies. It’s not at all difficult to call forth the muse in such a case.

      Many blessings to you! It’s been a while since we have connected, and I am glad to have seen your recent post as well as to see you visiting my blog. Namaste and Aloha ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐ŸŒ‹๐ŸŒด

      1. Yours is certainly a blessed soul with profound sense of nature consciousness, which is several times more refined than god consciousness professed by the worldโ€™s religions. โ€œWe all have encumbered the earth, thanks to our wretched existenceโ€, rued E M Foster. Only the โ€˜fully evolved and fragrantly enlightenedโ€™, as beautifully phrased out by Romain Rolland, do not wish to live like liabilities to earth and others, and lead lives sans ruffle and defilement. Much like the glowing example set by the 17th c Zen Master Bankei Yotaku; of him it was said, โ€œwhen he entered the forest, not a blade of grass stirred; when he entered the water, not a ripple was madeโ€. We may not be able to reach anywhere close to such near absolute non-encumbrance. But we can all ensure utilising natureโ€™s resources sustainably, without becoming liabilities to earth. Best wishes…

      2. Raj, you do me great honor by bestowing these kind words on one who simply loves the earth as she always has since childhood. And though we try to live as sustainably as possible, the channels open to us seem exceedingly narrow and largely insufficient. Yet at least we do make all efforts to do so, to the best of our abilities.

        Many blessings to you. I am enthralled by the Ramayana now, thanks to you! Aloha ๐ŸŒธ

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