Memorial for a Tree

For many years, Samuel Taylor State Park in Marin County, California was a sanctuary for me.  Beautiful saunters through fern canyons, meandering along a pure creek, under the majestic redwoods.  A natural refuge of peace where I could sit on boulders in the quiet of Papermill Creek, or by a bubbling waterfall, and feel I was in “Nature’s Church.”  I discovered my own “secret sam” trail where I could explore for hours, climb a tree, meditate, write a poem, and never see anyone but wildlife companions.

Today I read in the San Francisco Chronicle that one of the oldest trees there, the Pioneer Tree, was consumed by fire.  Transiency and impermanence, life and death, are perpetual lessons in Nature.  Yet, I mourn this old tree, along with the friends and family who hiked there with me.

At the same time, I smile, knowing that the fallen giant will now be a living part of the ecosystem it once sheltered.  As a “nurse log” it will now be the pioneer for new generations of greening growth.

Nature never allows us to mourn too long.

A selection of my photos in those woods and near those trails. . .

Categories: treesTags: , , ,


  1. Thanks for posting this reflection and scenic pictures. We’ve been to many California state parks but not this one. I’ll have to check it out. Though there’s the danger, that now that word is out, suddenly your quiet retreat may eventually gain many more hikers:-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: