I am in the grand stillness of the ancient forest. Trees 1,000-2,000 years old... before Copernicus declared that the sun didn't revolve around earth. Western Red Cedar, "arborvitae," Tree of Life. They grow in circles. Sacred circles. And no one quite knows why. I walk amidst their powerful presence and look up to see a canopy that forms a perfect circle in the sky. The hole in the middle, gateway to the cosmos. Potent channel to other realms.
Gold dust lichen covers the stately trunks. The tree must be 250 years old to attain this magical veil. Here, no tree grows without it. I approach the largest and oldest in this arboreal temple. She is at least 2000 years old and 16 feet in diameter. What does one do before such a humbling presence? I lean into her. Kiss her smooth trunk. Give thanks for being with her.
She is threatened, of course. Just as the gigantic glaciers recede and the seas turn acidic, her rain forest interior wetbelt climate shifts. Undisturbed for centuries, like some hidden tribe in Borneo, the effects of modern consumptive life have found her. I know, there will be no future forests like this.
I return to the truck and La Perla; remove my rain coat and rubber boots. I realize that one silver and amber earring no longer hangs from my lobe. These are dear to me. I purchased them years ago on the Taos Pueblo at the San Geronimo autumn ritual pole climb. That amber of the ocean was at least as old as that tree.
I like to imagine that it escaped to the crotch in the trunk where I leaned. One ancient spirit joining another. Gathering force.