I admire the silence of trees. Theirs is a presence felt, not heard. Space occupied by an enormously wise tree is space not filled by wood and leaves but silence. A visible silence taking the shape of shade. What sounds trees rarely make are natural responses, not complaints. Opposing winds push, but trees don’t get pushed around, their plantings don’t get in a wad. I’ve never heard a tree complain. Even an angry wind, when reprimanding a tree, is reduced to a shush-ing sound.

Trees are also selfless, yielding their fruit, not clinging to it. Again, not complaining, even when fruit is plucked from her grasp. A tree laden with fruit may appear proud until you look on the ground, noticing that although she fulfilled her calling to produce fruit she is humble enough to lay it down, not demanding that it go unwasted. No matter the height or stately stature of the tree, she submits the fruit of her labor to gravity, to what may.

I pen these thoughts on paper, birthed from a tree who selflessly gave her life for this journal. I have 40 or 50 journals bearing the marks of my pens. I want to write in such a way as to make those now-gone trees proud, gathering in their wooden heaven, looking down in approval, resting in peace. A tree that once grew heavenward, cut down and turned into paper made to lay flat, is redeemed when pen strokes glorify the martyr. Journaling is a way for a tree to redemptively stand back up, extending branches of praise in death as it did for those many years of life.