quiet, quite quieter
I am surrounded by tall trees I can see from windows all around the cabin in Santa Cruz, but early in the morning, birds tap at the windows, urging me out into the day and toward even larger trees—
butterflies flutter about too, landing where I can watch them slowly open their wings slightly, drawing me outside to watch them alight on branches and plantings,
and then I do wander into the woods, passing fruited trees,
pausing for church flea markets like this one in Felton, California,
with homemade candles,
all manner of miscellany,
and aqua wine glasses that I felt the cabin needed in her kitchen cabinets (quite worth the expenditure).
And then I pass into Henry Cowell State Park to visit a spell with old-growth redwoods, stately in their bark of many colors,
fielding avian interruptions as I walk and birds hop on close posts, anxious to talk (my friend Karen, who knows this area of California well and cultivates a bird following, would enjoy these discussions).
The Zayante Indians once lived in the area, and the trees are between 1400 and 1800 years old; their majesty defies capture, as the trees twist away from the camera,
and I cannot show you the bits of softly falling leaves in the light,
I can only suggest the way a stand of trees seem to bend into each other, conspiratorially.
When I have looked up for a long while, I go to find spongy moss growing on logs,
the plants growing at the base of trees, spotlighted as sun filters in through serious branches,
and, my mind quieted, I look back over my shoulder as I leave these trees that will stand resolute, grandly implacable, the same way they will stand when I inevitably return, again and again…