The Trees of August

I’m not sure the trees ever come to center and live in the present moment. This moment, to be fully this moment, is not a means to any end. It is not used to prepare for the next nor regret the last. It just is. Yahweic. The bush is just a bush, the rock just a rock, but man hardly ever is just here, now. For the eastern mind, man is estranged but nature is inegrated. Zen masters use objects from nature to model simplicity. But I doubt the analogy. (Analogy – so Western, I know.)

The trees do nothing if not look ahead. Each movement of water or sugar up or down their cambrium is a preparation for the next season. Three months away is what is always on their minds. At the zenith of the summer, when the green is equidistant from the warms of spring and the colds of deep winter, in the long pause of August, the trees cannot be said to feel success. There is no sabbath rest for them.

The entire creation shares man’s estrangement, says St. Paul, and we and the trees groan, cursed to survive by sweat about tomorrow. They are not in the garden any more either.

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