Trees do more than sustain us.
They are our family. Its easy to forget how inseparable we are from the wider realm of nature but in the grand scheme of things our very nature binds us to everything else. Its this dissociation that causes us to lose touch with our very roots.
Reconnecting with our environment, and therefore ourselves must be the foundation of all our work.
“You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor. A billion and a half years ago, the two of you parted ways.
But even now after an immense journey in separate directions that tree and you still share a quarter of your genes.
I recently came across the works of Richard Powers, an American Novelist who instantly lured me as soon as I peeked into his vision of the world. For the longest time ever since I learnt about the Redwoods I have yearned to be amongst them. And one such walk amongst the Redwoods changed Richard’s life from a computer science and a music writer to writing about the old growth forests and why they were being cut down? Why humans are disconnected today with the natural world?
The Overstory, which was Richard’s twelfth novel, won him a Pulitzer prize for fiction. He said in an interview given to a news channel that Before writing “The Overstory,” he stuck to a fairly rigorous routine of writing anything in between 3 to 12 hours for almost a third of a century.
Talking about his walk on that extraordinary day and its background Richard says, “I was teaching at Stanford, in the heart of Silicon Valley. I lived within a couple of miles from the headquarters of Google, Apple, Intel, HP, Facebook, Netflix, and dozens of other companies that had created the present and were busy creating the future. When I needed to get away from that future, I would head up into the Santa Cruz mountains above the valley, where I could reconnect to the long past by hiking under the second-growth redwoods. One day I came across an escapee, a redwood that had somehow evaded the loggers when they cut down these forests to build San Francisco and lay the track for the transcontinental railroad that joined California to the East. This single monster tree was as wide as a house, as tall as a football pitch was long, and almost as old as Jesus. It struck me that Silicon Valley had sprung up down there because these gigantic trees had been up here, helpless resources to be sacrificed. The human story of that region had been written in part by these creatures who operated on an entirely different scale of time and space. And it was at this moment I came down from the mountains and I began to read”.
Also read: How Travelling can elevate you to become a better being?
But what brought my attention to this subject was his choice of words while describing his favourite book, “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” by Crockett Johnson. Published two years before he was born. He says, the book was among very first stories I ever read. It gripped me then, and it has never really let me go. The line which also struck me as he said them out loud, “If you want to walk in the moonlight, you might have to draw your own moon. If you can’t find a way back home, you might have to draw your own trail. I sometimes think I became a writer because of this book”.
Even though I haven’t read any of his books yet but researching and reading enough on the internet gave me more than an insight of how he has lived with and for the nature and that was what he advised to the fellow writers when asked;
“I’ve profited endlessly from not screwing down my plans and outlines too tightly but by leaving myself open to serendipity and happy accident. Be present, practice attention, and the story you are working on will feed on everything in front of you”.
I hope to read this writer someday whom I found just by chance, even though nature tells us nothing is by chance, everything is connected. Like the tree stump and the human fingerprint.
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If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste
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I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;
As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the road, before you coarse on your own Road to Nara.
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If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here
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If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, feel free to write to me at email@example.com
To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.
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