Wise

“Our prehistoric ancestors came out from the forests of a drying Africa to embark on their remarkable biological and cultural journey towards a new species, so in a sense we are the children of the forests. They gave us shelter, medicine, shade, food and fuel in great abundance … the brilliance with which trees have evolved and adapted over the last 200 million years [teach us] about survival and defence, partnership and sustainability, conservation and the endless creative possibilities of nature.”

Max Adams, in The Wisdom of Trees [p13]

The ‘Ancient Oak’ of James Ward’s beautiful painting could be 500 years old, perhaps older. Surely, if a tree can be wise, this one will be. But Max Adams goes on to write:

“This book is called The Wisdom of Trees not because trees are wise, but because we would be wise to learn from them.”

So we must learn our wisdom from wherever lessons can be had, including trees. But we remember…

“Life offers its wisdom generously. Everything teaches. Not everyone learns.”     

           Rachel Naomi Remen

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