Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Ramble - In the Company of Trees

In September and October, every garment in my wardrobe seems to have conkers, acorns, nuts and pine cones in its pockets, small offerings from the old trees in village parks and the Lanark hills.

After years of rambling the hills and valleys of the eastern Ontario highlands, I have come to think of their towering woodland beings as my sisters. On sunny autumn days, I find a comfortable seat among my kin, and we have conversations, some of the most thoughtful and enlightening discussions ever. I have no leaves, and I don't bear acorns, but the great trees welcome me with open arms nevertheless.

I am always picking up acorns, and the pockets without acorns rattling around in their depths enfold other offerings, pine and spruce cones, walnuts, butternuts, beech nuts and shagbark hickory nuts. I adore their shapes, their colors, their textures, their fragrance, the whole season of their fruiting, and I can never resist gathering such things when I am out in the forest. Autumn is a season of entelechy, a time of becoming, of once and future trees. In the words of poet and typographer Robert Bringhurst:

"Seeds and seed capsules, in nature, are unfailingly elegant. Form not only follows function in these structures; it chases it around, like a mouse with a moth or a cat with a mouse. Immense amounts of information and nutrition are routinely housed in spaces handsome far beyond necessity and compact beyond belief."
Robert Bringhurst, The Tree of Meaning, Language, Mind and Ecology

Turning my pockets out this week before chucking everything into the washing machine, I realized there has been a whole forest riding around with me for several days, and it made me smile. Silly old me. There is no need to pine for my sisters when I am away from the woods - they are right here with me.


Beth Owl's Daughter said...

Beautifully said. Such a joyful, enduring love affair!

Maggie Emm said...

There is no treasure like nature's treasure! My pockets too are always full this time of year - conkers today!
Thanks for the introduction to Robert Bringhurst - I look forward to reading him x