If I Were A Redwood…

I’d be happy to grow tall in a steep canyon, where fog lingers in the morning to feed my needles, and a stream burbles in the rainy season to nourish my roots.

I’d be lucky to grow close to the ocean, whose summer fogs and winter warmth would help me grow taller and stronger.

I’d nurture a circle of friends to help me recover from fires.

I’d remember that most of us can survive a fire or two, if our roots are deep enough and our friends close around to support us.


I’d remember that life and death intertwine all around me.

I’d remember that when my seed germinated, the coast Miwok and Pomo still gathered fish, berries and nuts in my canyon, and no one had seen these tree-cutting Europeans yet.

I’d remember that fires, nations, governments and even diseases all have their time, while the seeds dropped by my ancestors created a forest that somehow has managed to remain.

9 responses

  1. Beautiful, Paul. You live in a beautiful county in a beautiful state. And your thoughts are beautiful here too.

    October 3, 2020 at 05:50

  2. Tracey Tsugawa

    Love this! Thank you for sharing such beauty during such a trying and chaotic time!!

    October 3, 2020 at 10:49

  3. Vivian Ling

    You are carrying on the ageless Chinese tradition of penning poetry to painting! Love it!

    October 4, 2020 at 08:02

  4. Deb Cocco

    This made my morning. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and comments during this most difficult of times. It is reminder of the importance of perseverance, continuity, interdependence, and nature in the midst of such devastation and chaos.

    October 4, 2020 at 08:28

  5. Lynne Weygint

    What they said, Paul!! Holding you in my heart……

    October 4, 2020 at 09:52

  6. I start my day at 5:30 am with a cup of coffee relaxing, thinking about the events of the day while listening to the still of the house. As the pitter patter of little feet come down the hall, the mom hat goes on as I help my boys Camden (7) and Kilen (5) get ready for their day of school. I make them breakfast and grab their backpacks; the boys eat and they are off for the school bus. Whew! After a busy morning, it s off to ACMC-Redwood Falls where I m Dr. Michelle Cilek, ready to see my patients.

    October 4, 2020 at 11:29

  7. Sam Craig

    A truly wonderful post, Paul!

    October 4, 2020 at 11:36

  8. Pingback: County Views – Scorched Earth | (so much world, so little time....)

  9. Mary Louise Jaffray

    Really lovely Paul. Hopefully, us humans can learn something from these wise redwoods. I can see that you have. While I love our UU gatherings, it is when I am in a redwood grove or at the coast nearby, (when only a few people are around) that I really feel like I am at “church”. Thanks for reminding me of these thoughts and feelings during this strange time. I really needed this. Mary Louise

    October 26, 2020 at 14:18

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