“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.” ~ Hermann Hesse
I don’t know where my home is, but I know that it’s somewhere with a forest. As a dear friend pointed out, I’m a misplaced forest-dweller. I grew up in the middle of the fairy-tale German Forest. As I child, I would walk through the trees and listen to their songs as the wind whistled through the leaves. The crack of twigs beneath my feet. The damp smell of rot and life clung to my skin. Golden tones of fall foliage as the leaves fall. Crisp greens in the spring. All seasons.
Well, except winter.
Far from the barren flatness of the prairie. Vast spans of fields with the occassional lonely tree stuck in the middle. Dirty sloughs of stagnant water. Birds that scream and scavange road kill. I miss the forest and days of wandering among the thick barked trunks while while silence settled around my shoulders like natures blanket. You can keep your ocean-front resorts. Sandy beaches are overwhelming and vulnerable. There is nothing cozy about the beach. Beneath the canopy of greens illuminated by the sun where birds sing nature’s chants is where I find home.
I’ve been rather contemplative lately as I try to work up the courage to leave the life I know for an unknown adventure that will change our lives. The idea has settled now. I’m ready to push back my sleeves and busy myself with the work of change.
You could say that I’ve been busy focusing on the forest’s grandiosity. Now, it’s time to walk among the trees and pay attention. Details are easy. It’s the overall picture that makes my heart race with panic.
It’s the same thing when I edit. I love editing the details and working through each chapter as if they were individual stories. I can see the story in the details, but when I try to view “Dolly” as a whole entity, I get lost in the “big-ness”. I can’t see if the entire novel makes sense as a whole. While I obsess over this word or that, I can’t see the entirety of a plot line.
So, I’ll focus on the details of the story, little bits at a time, and hope that the lineation of the story comes together with clarity. One tree at a time.