Ancient Spirit Journal

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Ancient Spirit

Logging practices over the past few hundred years have changed the nature of our forests. The species variety and the age range of our trees have both become more homogeneous. Some trees valued for their lumber have been harvested faster than their ability to regenerate. Others, partly due to their low market value, have increased. Most stands of forests are even-aged...old trees are rare.

This particular old tree is a sugar maple (Acer sacchurum), a mainstay of forests in the northeastern U.S. into Canada. Hundreds of years ago it was not uncommon to find big trees throughout our forests. Now such big trees are often found along borders, in hedgerows or inaccessible locations. Trees such as these have had to survive many hardships; pressures from herbivores, competition with other plants, storms, severe winter conditions, etc. Such trees seem to possess a deep wisdom. To come across a mature maple tree stirs a place in the heart that remembers an ancient harmony where the young, the old and the very old cohabit in a timelessness that is of this earth.

To revel in the canopy of a maple's glowing leaves in the glory of autumn light one can lose track of time for a short eternity.

artwork by Camille Doucet © 1998

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