John Berger opens his famous book, Ways of Seeing, with, “Seeing comes before words.”
I have remembered his words since I first read them 40 years ago. Katherine Thanas repeated Hirshfield’s poem in a lecture… “immensity taps at your life” and those words too, have stayed with me. Trees, Katherine Thanas, Jane Hirshfield, and John Berger. A cup of coffee would be nice too. The brush of the tree branch, a tap tap at your heart, are you paying attention?
It is foolish to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.
Even in this one lifetime, you will have to choose. That great calm being, this clutter of soup pots and books— Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.
Jane Hirshfield, 2001. Given Sugar, Given Salt.
Wilder Ranch State Park, Englesman Loop Trail March 28, 2019