These 3 Trees

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” This is an exceptional quote “dug” up by the late and surely great distinguished John Lubbock or indeed inspiration for this July’s last post and we’ll lie in the grass (no snakes or black clouds today), under the shade of a giant sequoia standing 300 feet tall with so many wonderous stories, “seeds”, and memories to share. Take a deep breath, all thanks to this ancient wonderment; magnificent creatures, I meant more the trees, but a few humans too boot and their thoughtful works, that have sprouted along our journey, we must mention.

“Oxygen is the 3rd most abundant element in the universe. The element is made in stars that are around 5 times more massive than our Sun. These stars burn carbon or helium together with carbon. Betcha, never new Oxygen makes up nearly half the mass of Earth’s crust.” That’s a lot of hot air!

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers and millions of spores more in trees. Some life-saving facts that might be useful when left scared and stranded on a wayward unsteady branch. I haven’t learned spontaneous flight or levitation, yet. Days still young! I could spend a lifetime with you talking, walking, gazing, and writing about all thing’s trees, but I know you have a busy schedule, likely “starving”, more likely dehydrated, in need to walk the dog or go to the bathroom, texting, or driving and a million “other” things on that honey-do-list of yours or yours truly. Forgive me, I am quick to get turned around. So, this should only take a “moment”. “According to the Arbor Day Foundation, in one year a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange.” Whole new meaning for every breath we take.

“In addition to photosynthesis, trees also go through a process called respiration. The tree will use some of the sugars it makes from photosynthesis to carry out different jobs in their daily lives.”

“Trees are used for a variety of purposes, including cooking, fuel and heating. Wood is also used for construction materials, making furniture and crafting tools. Shelter is provided from trees as well. The pulp in wood is also used to make paper. Trees provide nuts and different fruits for human consumption, contribute oxygen and play a role in water conservation,” to say the least. And whilst writing this very post, protection from the elements, which consist of a glorious July Sunday morning. The weather is perfect, and the skies are blue! Source and from a tree-hugger and massive lover of our largest plants in existence.

Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven …
From “Birches” by Robert Frost

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”; “Ralph Waldo Emerson, who went by his middle name Waldo, was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and his ideology was disseminated through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.” Thank you, Wikipedia, for the thought strain, like a run-away “love train” and all the big words to google search and find their definitions.

“Just tie a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree
It’s been way too long, do you still want me?
If I don’t see a ribbon ’round the old oak tree
I’ll stay on the bus, forget about us, put the blame on me
If I don’t see a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree”

“Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in New England. (If they could see us now) A core belief is in the inherent goodness of people and nature, and while society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. Transcendentalists saw divine experience inherent in the everyday, rather than believing in a distant heaven. Transcendentalists saw physical and spiritual phenomena as part of dynamic processes rather than discrete entities.”

“In his 1963 book, The Science Of Being and Art of Living, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi says that, over time, through the practice of the TM technique, the conscious mind gains familiarity with deeper levels of the mind, bringing the subconscious mind within the capacity of the conscious mind, resulting in expanded awareness in daily activity. He also teaches that the Transcendental Meditation practitioner transcends all mental activity and experiences the ‘source of thought’, which is said to be pure silence, ‘pure awareness’ or ‘transcendental Being’, ‘the ultimate reality of life’. TM is sometimes self-described as a technology of consciousness.” Oh, I’m growing very sleepy and better get that coffee!

“Transcendentalists have a deep gratitude and appreciation for nature, not only for aesthetic purposes, but also as a tool to observe and understand the structured inner workings of the natural world. Emerson emphasizes the Transcendental beliefs in the holistic power of the natural landscape in Nature:”

Sleeping in the Forest
By: Mary Oliver
I thought the earth
remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, … no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, … my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.”

The Bible refers to itself as a Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18).

Since I’m an advocate for wasting time, hikes and bikes, stories about nature that are most assuredly unnatural, ukulele playing fool poolside, art, writing, painting, and heavenly picnics about tree politics; then, please allow me to introduce a ghost painter who can stroke an oil painting together with a glorious mysterious landscape that leaves me baffled, mystified, and inspired still!

“Rembrandt’s portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs. The French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, “Compare me with Rembrandt! What sacrilege! With Rembrandt, the colossus of Art! We should prostrate ourselves before Rembrandt and never compare anyone with him!” Agreed, for today and this post.

“Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (say that ten times), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and draughtsman. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.”

“During the 1630s, just when Rembrandt came to Amsterdam to begin his career in earnest, he painted what many consider his most dramatic works. The Storm on the Sea of Galilee; In an allegorical sense, the work also illustrates the power of nature and man’s helplessness in its force. Numbered among the twelve disciples were fisherman and sailors; however, in this scene they are powerless and exposed to elements. They can only hang on. One holds his hand over the side while others futilely attempt to steady the boat, the man on the left putting one hand to his hat and the other to the rigging is said to have the face of Rembrandt.” Source and probably yours truly’s favorite masterpiece of forestated masterful artist.

“The Three Trees is an etching by Rembrandt and was produced in 1643. Often considered his most accomplished artwork in this style, it depicts three trees against a background of a highly varied sky. The work, which has been interpreted by some authorities as representing the Three Crosses, is currently owned by the British Museum in London.” (Source and my love for eerie twisted tangled tales and spooky historical art that speaks volumes.)

“Rembrandt lived beyond his means, buying art (including bidding up his own work), prints (often used in his paintings) and rarities, which probably caused a court arrangement (cessio bonorum) to avoid his bankruptcy in 1656, by selling most of his paintings and large collection of antiquities, but was allowed to keep his tools. The sale list survives and gives a good insight into Rembrandt’s collections, which, apart from Old Master paintings and drawings, included busts of the Roman emperors, suits of Japanese armor among many objects from Asia, and collections of natural history and minerals. But the prices realized in the sales in 1657 and 1658 were disappointing. Rembrandt was forced to sell his house and his printing-press and move to more modest accommodation on the Rozengracht in 1660. The authorities and his creditors were generally accommodating to him, except for the Amsterdam painters’ guild, which introduced a new rule that no one in Rembrandt’s circumstances could trade as a painter. To get around this, Hendrickje and Titus set up a dummy corporation as art dealers in 1660, with Rembrandt as an employee.”

“The most notable artistic feature of The Three Trees is that, unlike most of Rembrandt’s other landscapes, this etching is composed in a highly formal fashion. The trees which give the work its name are shown not as isolated objects as an integral part of the natural landscape, affected by both wind and sun. The lighting effects in the work are particularly varied, thanks to the dynamic background with its fast-moving clouds. The elaborately constructed scene contains a great deal of activity, ranging from people working in the field to an artist sketching on a hill.”

Now more used as a selfie spot rather and easier than ignoring the fool on the hill …. “Well on the way
Head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice
But the fool on the hill …”

Back to the story, down-hill from here, metaphorically speaking, and entire reason we came to the forest, was to speak on the matter of trees and one perspective or exceptional viewpoint while perched on a high branch overlooking the top of a mountain to the deep lush valleys and by a vast ginormous ocean. Maybe? Just one ghostwriter’s over-active imagination, hasn’t seen but desperately in need of a vacation, and a thoughtful view on nature, God’s beauty, and everything above and below.

Nestle in for this next story is based on perception, perspective, and owl ways some well-needed and intended wisdom. “What is the favorite Beatles song of every owl? “Owl You Need is Love.”

“An American folk-tale adapted from the out-of-print book The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt; a prolific Christian author, and her books include The Tale of Three Trees, The Debt, The Note, and The Nativity Story, among others.” As goes …

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!”

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!”

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.”

Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell.

“Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest. I shall hold wonderful treasure!” the first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell.

“Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!”

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.

But the woodcutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me,” he muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feedbox for animals.

The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead, the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail on an ocean, or even a river; instead, she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard.

“What happened?” the once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God…”

Many, many days and night passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams.

But, then, one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox.

“I wish I could make a cradle for him,” her husband whispered.

The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful,” she said.

And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake.

Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain.

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun.

And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her.

She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth tremble with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything.

It had made the third tree strong.

And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God.

That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

“Before humans were ever on the scene, there existed an estimated 6 trillion trees, showing a decline of nearly 50%.”

“The next time you feel down because you didn’t get what you desired, sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.”

“Don’t be afraid to be weak
Don’t be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart, my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence”

These three trees stand for glory, might, and heaven’s light. They stand for purpose, perseverance, deep rooted introspectiveness, and “otherworldly” sky-bound perception. The symbolism is astronomical, and I hope this story finds you well, peaceful, and hopeful. We’re in the latter half of the year and I bid a grateful farewell to July. Time should speed up soon, or feel like it is, and the wonderous, magnanimous Earth will continue to rotate, while the moon illuminates. More ancient wonders to explore, nothing ever gets old, for the curious and curiouser!

“The world has space for up to 600 billion mature trees which won’t be in competition with agricultural land.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a tree to plant. No time, like the present. I hope to see you soon and Godspeed to you and yours!

Published by SiriusSea

Many moons ago and in a faraway land, I used to write about all things wonderous to the world and I am back to stir the seven seas of wonderment once more. As the storms pass through, I set my compass and my sights upon and beyond Sirius Sea! Welcome aboard!

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