Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Giant trees

When I went to Cambridge, U.K. for the first time some 15 years ago, I was fascinated by the trees. Walking along the path in Jesus Green, my heart was won by the huge old trees flanking the straightway. The fact that people in Cambridge took care so that these lovely things could be preserved, was enough testimony of the generally benevolent spiritual environment of the city, not to mention the excellent colleges and the University.

Wherever I go, I look for giant trees, and try to make friends with them. I touch the bark, look up at the leaves, and feel the lights and winds that have nurtured the remarkable specimen for all those years.

The giant camphor tree in Kamo, Kagoshima is one of my favorites. I have visited the tree several times, and get a renewed inspiration every time.

Over the years, the giant camphor tree has been revered as a deity. The tree is estimated to be about 1500 years old.
It is interesting how the passage of time left traces on the surface of the bark, and twisted the whole body in an impressive, dynamic form.

Time brings venerability, and venerability is made visible by the interaction of so many elements, directed by nobody, meant for no admirer.

Thus, I am just an incidental admirer.

Giant trees are one of the most ancient and powerful art forms found in Nature. The incident makes one cry.


The giant camphor tree in Kamo, Kagoshima.

7 comments:

nutty naughty said...

I'm very glad you know the tree which I love it, too!

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

What a splendid tree!
This tree has no language we can understand, but it is not necessary for her to have any languages to show us Greatness of Nature.

I think she must have chosen a way of life not to need to use any languages...

yuzu said...

Dear.Mr.Mogi
I can believe in what you saying.

Anonymous said...

Ohh, Giant trees, great topic! I am happy to hear you talk about your feelings for trees. I too love nature and pay special attention to trees. They have a majestic and distinguished quality about them that captives me. When I encounter a tree I too will try to make friends by stopping and saying hello, then I usually wait for a reply like a leaf or twig falling to the ground. I KNOW IT SOUNDS STRANGE. But it is something I have done since I was a child and it still brings me joy. This topic reminds me of a recent moment and thought that I had 2 days ago. I was driving down the typical urban corridor-like street and I noticed the landscaping. The trees, grass, and flowers were all in there designated places, and it made me wonder how the plants felt about that. Were they sad because they were “caged” in the sense that they can not grow wild and free? Did they like the constant attention of trimming and people about them? Or did they feel lonely because most people think of trees and plants as objects instead of a living organisms? I think we do communicate with nature on some unconscious level that we are not aware of, if only we could bring that forward so that we could actively participate with them. What fun that would be!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mr/Ms Anonymous,

"I usually wait for a reply like a leaf or twig falling to the ground."

cute and ..

NO! IT DOES NOT sound strange I believe.

Anonymous said...

i have been thinking about Mr/Ms Anonymous’s sweet essay.

Mr/Ms Anonymous said ..

"The trees, grass, and flowers were all in there designated places, and it made me wonder how the plants felt about that. Were they sad because they were “caged” in the sense that they can not grow wild and free? Did they like the constant attention of trimming and people about them?"


it sounds so much like about me

my brain wants to refute this my idea, but my heart cannot.

perhaps because i have a feeling "i am caged and cannot grow wild and free.."

Anonymous said...

in September 2005, I became sick and was being in the hospital for two months. After discharge from the hospital, my supervisor took me to the UNESCO bioethics conference in Thailand: this was my wish. At the conference dinner, one professor from India presented an impressive poem.

....................
The river runs crazy with its own flow
Yet I, the Champaka tree, stand still and sleepless,
Engulfed in my own fragrance.

I always remain motionless, hiding my journey deep down the earth
My movement finds itself in my new leaves and my cascading flowers

The river runs crazy in its turbulent flow
It wants to come out everywhere, losing its mind in its vivacity

My movement, mute, is life’s longing for light
Only the sky and the silent stars of the night know its joy

- - translated by Rabindranath Tagore – the Nobel laureate (1913)
poet from India