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Park 10

If ever trees could make you giddy, it was these trees. These gentle giants were indulgent elders reaching back more generations than you can even imagine. Being elder, they let us realized that even the oldest of us was a mere child. We became gleeful tree huggers and spilled out of the bus like kids at recess.

I was so grateful; I did hug a tree but was too small to do a proper job. Indeed, it would have taken more than a half dozen of us to hug even a young tree. Setting my head back and looking straight up, it was possible to see each giant reaching the sky. Green, shade, moisture in the air, I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed these until the Sequoias gave them back. Sound is different in a forest. Light is bent and shaped with shadow. Creatures celebrate the abundance. Butterflies flitted in and out of light. Birds chatted loudly. Squirrels and chipmunks scurried about and scolded from their perch. How I’d missed them all.

This Pennsylvanian is skeptical no more. Back in 1876, the gentlemen of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia disbelieved. Surely the huge sections of wood shipped from California to be reassembled as into a single tree were pure humbuggery. Californians had surely shipped multiple trees and were poking fun at the nation. The Philadelphia gentlemen, sure they had spotted a hoax forbade the California display. Ah, gentlemen, your experience could not encompass the grandeur of sequoias who still stand while you have gone from dust to dust.

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