Today we visited the Calaveras Big Trees in CA. A beautiful walk and worth the visit but the trees were so sad, some of them, that I couldn’t help but cry. I salted the earth there at each of the trees pictured below. In reverse order of appearance for our hike:
The Pioneer Cabin Tree. Cut open so that people could walk through her guts over a century ago. Now nearly dead. We were looking forward to this so much until we got there and wanted to vomit. Pain. Vulnerability. Sadness. Great and looming sadness and a wish for death.
The Mother Tree. Flayed alive so that men could showcase her exoskeleton to crowds in NYC and London. She died immediately afterward. Can you see her face? Her open arms? The hole just above her clearly defined heart?
The Discovery Tree. This was the largest of the trees when white immigrants first found the stand of old growth Sequoias. Of course they cut the largest one down and used her grave as a dance floor. I went up there but felt like throwing up and again, the overwhelming sadness.
This is place filled with ghosts. I don’t know who they are. The trees? The keepers? The natives who held them holy? Too many people, too much going on to really connect but the grove is populated by the unseen as much as the seen.