Saturday, November 27, 2010

Song of the Tawhairauriki - Mountain Beech (submitted for the Festival of Trees 54)

There is a ridge in the Ruahine mountain range of Aotearoa (New Zealand) which for me is a magical and spiritual place. Up high at around 1300 metres the tawhairauriki (mountain beech) become gnarled and twisted as they fight the elements of the thin mountain soil, the prevailing and often gale force northwest winds, the rain, sleet, and snow as they seem to cling precariously to the mountain.
Especially around sunrise or sunset they take on an ethereal presence. As if they are the maunga tipua, or mountain guardian spirit. The gnarled branches become limbs reaching to the sky both beseeching and defiant. The mosses and lichens clinging to them become like the furs of warriors at momentary rest from an endless battle. And their defiance also speaks to the intrusion of man in such places as if to cry out,"Leave us be. You do not Listen. We accept our lot
as keepers of the tipua, but cannot abide your roads into our souls, the pollution and damming of our pure waters, and the ripping apart of our very bowels as you plunder our essence - we offer you so much with our mere presence and yet you steal what should sustain you the most - WHY!"
This is a place I always walk softly and quietly, and I listen to these voices. The song of the Tawhairauriki.


Dave said...

Those sound like my kind of trees!

Joy said...

The vision you present is gorgeous..breath taking...through you I may Listen as well..thank you!

baruk said...

thank you robb, i'll never see gnarled quite the same again!

Silvia Hoefnagels . Salix Tree said...

Beautiful! I agree with the trees!

KB said...

A wonderful description of the trees. Something tells me that they are very old, and have watched humans "making roads" into their world for a long time. We'd be wise to listen to them.

Tracey Axnick said...

Stark and beautiful.

One of my favorite trees is the Angel Oak in Charleston, SC. It's estimated to be about 600 years old (no one really knows, of course). It's huge, majestic, gnarled and completely breath-taking.

Whenever we're visiting Chas, I make it a point to go visit this tree, even though it's out of the way. I stop and sit and think of ALL the people (and cultures of peoples) that have rested beneath its branches. I think of all the governments that have come and gone, all the "conquerors" that have claimed that land as their own, and eventually, passed away.

And that beautiful old tree has seen it all. Generations of people, centuries of rulers/cultures, etc., hurricanes, etc., etc.

A beautiful thing. Much to be learned there, if we busy humans will stop, breathe and pay attention.

Marja said...

Ah magical poetic words Robb and yes we have to listen to the plee of the trees because they are alive and beautiful and very much of use to us in many ways. We have to treat them with respect. I always feel their energy, specifically of the big ones in Hagley park here. They are gorgeous.

troutbirder said...

Beautiful words and thoughts Robb.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora to all:
Thanks for stopping in. Welcome Joy and Silvia, and to Silvia what a great variety and display you have done with the Festival of the Trees, just great reading, viewing, and thinking. The thing I love most about this months Festival is the commonality from around the world we feel towards the trees. That is inspirational.
Thanks every one, and as we move into this silly season may your days be peaceful and filled with nature. Ti hei mauri ora!

mary said...

Absolutely. The trees have reason to complain.

Many times I hear the trees saying, "We love you. We sustain you. We need you. And you need us. Live with us, and be well. Learn from us, and be in the heaven that surrounds you. Open your eyes, and sing with us in love."

These trees, they are wiser than we could ever be.