Wolfku Musing 3

An edge, a leaning
Trunk and roots:
  a fierce grasping
Wishing he could fall


 Can a tree really be afraid?

Can a tree really feel anything? Who knows? I don’t. Not for sure, anyway. But surely, with so much life—for how much life does it not take to grow an oak from an acorn—there must be feeling as well, some sort of treey feeling. Perhaps completely beyond our human ken, but very familiar to the oak and the bristlecone pine and the birch and the cedar.

As an aside, if there is anything trees would fear, it would be fire. That would be my guess, my gut-sense. Another gut-sense is that there are a lot of scared trees in California right now, what with so many fires raging.

I ponder the trees (and their feelings) now and then, lining the street as I stride for the ocean up ahead. Many have grown Chinese style pointy beards (all gray) and those trees surely feel both ancient and important. You can tell. The younger, beard-less ones feel deference, I think so—they look like they do.

This particular tree, the one who spawned this Wolfku, grows at the very, very edge of a bluff facing the Pacific, so close as to, really, almost crossing the edge—some roots even grasping air—and leaning towards that massive water below and perhaps wishing he could taste it.

I don’t think this tree fears his precarious situation. It knows there is no climbing back onto safer ground from here and it knows that eventually, during a heavy and long, waterlogged storm perhaps, the land, his anchor, will give way and he will slip, tumble, and finally find salty water.

Until then, the view is great, the waiting is exciting, the ocean spans a half-circle worth of horizon, its bravery manifest (as is his foolhardiness), and this tree feels pretty good about all this.

I can tell.