There is a dead seqoia in the middle of a grove in California. Burned, but standing as if still alive, she is telling the story of her own death. Faint lines, eight feet apart, ring her trunk. They are the marks left by the workers who built a scaffold and removed her bark in eight foot wide sections, to be taken to London and displayed in the Crystal Palace. In 1908, she caught fire. She is beautiful even so. She stands, even though she is gone.
I went to the primordial forest with a pack of Druids. We’d just gone to Pantheacon, and were sharing our forest with a Druid from Wales. He’d shared Llyn Tegid with me, and it seemed only manners–as well as first rate fun!
We were completely unprepared for this, and maybe that’s how it should be. That’s why I’m not telling you where this was, though it’s easy enough to find out if you want to know. This tree broke our hearts. Opened our hearts. Made us ask the question, how could we humans do this? She stands to remind us that we must never do this again. She is a warning, she shows us the guilt and pain we have already bequeathed to the future in what we have destroyed, and asks us if we want to continue to add to it.