Every morning I take a long walk on the land here – I call it “the land” and not “our land” because we really are simply the stewards of this piece of natural beauty where we are blessed to live. My dog, Tipu Sultan, and I wander about, following our feet to the lake or across the meadows or maybe up stream a ways – and every morning I am blown away at the wonders of nature.
It’s pretty obvious that native people must have lived here from time beyond time – you can tell by the trees. Clearly the ancient black and white oaks that surround the main vast meadow were tended to by people who knew and respected them. The natives would have delicately layered small branches around tiny Oak shoots to hide them from the hungry deer. We do the same, but with wire cages and solar lights so you don’t run into them at night. What a lesson in patience the oaks have been. I started protecting my first baby oaks here in 2005 – they were about 5” tall then and now, 10 years later, they are about 2 feet high – so that’s 2” per year more or less. Oaks take a very long time to grow.
Way up on a precipice overlooking a vast valley, about a half hour walk from where our house is on the land, there is a special tree we call “The Sacred Oak.” It is beyond huge – it is Regal and Wise. It must be almost 100 feet high and at least 20 feet around. It grows out of what is now craggy rock and we have been told it could be 500 years old. Snakes live in it and so many other creatures I can’t imagine. It is a world unto itself. It is easy to imagine a Council of wise folks gathered there in days past, under the spreading branches of the great tree. It is easy to imagine faeries and friendly aliens and Shiva himself sitting under The Sacred Oak. It is a portal to another reality.
Makes one wonder: is The Sacred Oak a place, or a state of mind?