by Jane St. Clair
Sequoia trees are colossal beings and yet they have a softness about them. Their bark swirls in a deep red soft pattern, and even their leaves look soft and furry. You might expect a “don’t-mess-with-me” hostile energy from such giants — but instead their spirits are calm, peaceful and majestic. It’s as if these trees, the largest and oldest living things on earth, have nothing to prove to anyone. They seem completely happy. Their peaceful energy makes you feel as if you’re in a cathedral where only beauty, hope, joy and the celebration of all things great and wonderful takes place.
The main thing about sequoia is that they are tall. You look up and they are tall as far as your eyes can see. They also have gigantic widths. People use to drive their cars through certain of their trunks in the Sequoia National Forest until the park rangers became more ecologically-minded.
Sequoia have enormous feet. Their feet are so big that they look like dinosaur feet. Some sequoia have dark green feet, others have red.
The oldest sequoia are over 5,000 years old which means they were already 1500 years old when Moses was alive, and 3000 years old when Christ was born. The Sequoia forest has survived fire, drought, insect hordes, floods, avalanches, and even tourists.
I like what John Steinbeck wrote about sequoia:
Redwoods seem to be out of time and out of our ordinary thinking. The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It is not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which shifts and varies under your eyes, –no—they are not like any trees we know. They are ambassadors from another time. The vainest and most irreverent of men goes under a spell of wonder and respect in the presence of the sequoia.
For information on your visit to the Sequoia National Forest this year, see Sequoia National Park.
Jane’s essay on Emily Dickinson placed in the 2015 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Essay Contest. See “The Colonel Catches A CatFish”. Read Jane’s funny flash fiction in The Reject File “Husky.” Jane’s story “The Man Who Liked 1959” placed in a contest from Twisted Road Publishing and will be included in a print anthology of stories from that publisher.