Redwood Giants

Path in Redwood forest

Peace in the redwood forest primeval,
Cell connectivity is lost: thought without interruption.
Wandering beside ancient giants,
Glen temperatures were low and cool.

I gaze up to the sky, invisible under the canopy.
The tops of trees are lost in a bright, green blur.
My children and I hunt for gnome homes.
Dark places keep their secrets, as we stay on the paths.

Yet magic is in the very air, all things seem possible.
From the green twilight, we spy a glade,
Emerald grass shining with the first sunlight seen.
Surely the fae dance there, shimmering between worlds.


Distances are deceptive in the photograph: the tiny bit of blue is a tall man, nearly swallowed by a distant curve in the path.

The oldest tree in Muir Woods is 1500 years old, born the year 514: it’s parent would have been capable of being born 3000 B.C., a distance in time to us unfathomable, yet only one generation apart in the forest primeval. Perhaps the spirits of the ancients still watch from beyond this world.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

39 thoughts on “Redwood Giants

  1. This is really lovely Brenda, and nice to kind of go on your trip with you! 🙂 I haven’t seen Red Wood Trees since I was a child, there were loads of them in a wood we kiddies referred to as The Spinney, I remember how those Red Wood Trees had sticky sap, bit like maple syrup if I peeled away some of that crumbly bark, I was fascinated by that and the way it smelled as well. And my big brother told me not to eat it, because it might just be poisonous!! Kind of a mean thing to do to a tree though, pull it’s skin off! 😦

    Looking for gnome homes eh! So did you find any? 🙂


  2. Making my way through your posts given I’ve been without internet for a while – and I’m loving your raw nature posts of late!


  3. Nice trees! Nice poem to with them. There’s just something about mature trees.
    (Although the little saplings can be quite cute too)
    Our lawn has little oak trees germinating all over it, thanks to the squirrels and the jays – there are so many, I’ve stopped trying to mow round them now. There’s plenty more among the bushes at the back anyway.


      • It might – it’s quite hard to get permission even just to prune a natural tree species – let alone chop it down.

        Some of the mature oak trees in the wood behind the house are overhanging our roof and this year in the violent winds and soaking rains we had, it has been quite scary – so our landlady (Fiona) is waiting for the permits to come just to stop the trees coming through the roof into the dining room. When she asked for it to be sorted urgently as it was dangerous, she was told “Yes it is dangerous – tell your tenant not to use that room.” We are quite fond of our oak trees but we would rather not have them joining us at meal times. Luckily things have quietened down at the moment. – But we might be asking tojoin you in your houseboat at short notice.


  4. When I visited the Redwoods (not in Muir Woods but Yosemite) it was a bitterly cold late spring day — fog changed to rain changed to sleet changed to snow and back again as if whole seasons were trying to cycle in a few hours. People dragged themselves along the path to see them, grumbling under their breath at nature, but the moment they entered the grove it was impossible for anyone to care what the weather was doing. The hush and the towering presence and the timelessness overwhelmed even the young ones so sullen at being cut free from the digital world (“Cell connectivity is lost: thought without interruption” is such a great line!)… I don’t know when I’ll get back to see them again, so thank you Brenda for the mental voyage!


    • Yes, indeed! We rented a houseboat in Sausalito, but it had sprung a leak the first night, and the five of us had to squash into a tiny room for the night, with all our bags. We are not ready for a tiny house!! 🙂


  5. GGPa and I enjoyed those woods too. “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree….” I learned that poem as a child.
    Yours is just as beautiful.


    • That is a lovely poem, I should have put that in as a quote, but now that you’ve added it, I don’t need to! 🙂 We miss you and wish you were here. We had portraits taken, and will try to pick a good one for you. Do you prefer an email or the physical photo?


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