“Listen to Trees”
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them,
whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.
They do no preach learning and precepts, they preach
undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer,
then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look
at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. These are childish
thoughts…. Home is neither here no there. Home is within you,
or home is nowhere at all.
If one listens to them silently for a long time, it reveals its kernel,
its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s
suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home….,
for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads
homeward, every step is birth, every step is death…
When we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and
the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve
an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned to listen to trees no
longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is.
That is home. That is happiness.
Trees: Reflections and Poems