rise up

August 18th, 2020

On the eve of the first Women’s March on January 21, 2017, my sister, niece and I walked through the Muir Woods National Monument, an old-growth redwood forest north of San Francisco. The majority of the trees there are between 500 to 800 years old. The oldest tree in the protected forest is more than 1200 years old. It gave me hope.

Now, it has taken less than four years for one malevolent man to bring our country to its knees. But look! It’s taken less than four years for us to rise up again. When you tire, falter, and lose faith in the democratic ideal, look to the trees. There, you’ll see that the earth, the sky, and all of time are on our side.

Redwoods can grow as tall as 380 feet from a seed the size of a tomato seed—a nearly invisible seed. Do not doubt the power of what that one seed knows. You know it too, and you will stand tall.


  1. Powerful. Thank you. I turned the prayer wheels at the monastery today with my wee grandson. Sending prayers. (I also wrote to my representatives.)

    Comment by Gretchen Staebler — January 23, 2017 @ 5:08 pm

  2. “Thank you so much to the women of America who stood up today against tyranny. We are so lucky to have you,”
    Eric Idle

    “This to will pass.”
    Eckhart Tolle

    How lucky you are to be able to stand by a tree that is so very old and to be able to touch something living that exists in such a different concept of time.
    My heart goes out to everyone in the US. (Even the ones who voted for this president. I’m with Jesus on this: “Forgive them father for they know not what they have done.”)

    Comment by Simone — January 24, 2017 @ 3:12 am

  3. Thank you so much for this. I am grateful for the combination of inspiration, direction and poetry.

    Comment by Antonia — January 24, 2017 @ 8:34 am

  4. Thinking of the redwoods being destroyed by the wildfires and what a painful and potent lesson in impermanence that is. May all beings be safe and free.

    Comment by Leah Harris — August 22, 2020 @ 2:26 pm

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