About the only time in my life where I feel small is when I am deep in the woods. Yes, you guessed it, I am tall. But not when I am amongst the trees.
When on the edge, the trees both gradually yet suddenly tower above me, blocking the sky from my view, and huddling me warmly into their home and far away from mine. I am simply forced to look up in amazement at their height, their strength and their (relative) sense of permanence. They face similar challenges just as I do. Strong winds will push them in ways they are not meant to go. Both animals and humans will cause injury to their trunks and branches like some sort of annoying pest might. Some age gracefully; others do not. But for the most part, their ability to remain firmly rooted to the ground and unfazed by the constant challenges that surrounds them, is truly inspiring.
For each season, they shed and change, reminding me that nothing in life is ever truly permanent yet they somehow always return back to the beginning, starting anew, but this time with a learned adaptation to protect and heal from the experience. The weight of their collective silence forces me to pause my thoughts. The crunch beneath my feet reminds me that I am moving forward. I can sometimes look back to see where I have been. And the idea that I may even become lost if I am not careful of my surroundings is, oddly enough, an exhilarating thought.
And maybe that’s why I feel more comfortable in woods than I really ought to be. I am a giant of the human world; they are the giants of the natural world. It’s nice to be around and to learn from those who understand what it’s like to be me.