great sequoia

Earth song
Heart song
My song
Nature's endless basin
Outstretched beneath my swinging feet

Fill the chest, expand the lungs
Life, rushing in and out on the breeze
Up here I am endless,
Up here I am strong

Standing next to this Great Sequoia
I am mighty
These trees do not dwarf me with their majestic power
They teach me of my own

Towering up, massive red stalk
Largest Living Thing on Earth
Deep forces coiled within
It fights back when struck

You see the ferocious limbs
Whipping back at the wind
Resolute in the freeze
And yet ...

With the right breeze,
The right moisture
And a slurping sucking burp!
Pulled out of the Earth
Crashing and splintering
Force turned against self

All that Power, Strength and Size
With roots too small and shallow
To support it in its fury

I am small
I am near the ground
I am soft
I do not have mass to protect me

Some days I bow and stoop
My forehead trailing the ground
Some days I bend and fall
But I am not uprooted

My roots are small but wiry
Thin but deep
Spreading out in a weave through the earth
Deep tendrils into the molten core

I stand with my cheek
Pressed against the cold bark
Listening ... and I hear

And I know that I am as strong as this tree
Even more resilient
Than this Giant

Great Sequoia
Largest Living Thing
And me.

--Andrea, 19, written after a visit to the Sequoia National Forest
© Andrea Smeltzer, 1998. All Rights reserved