Just a tree

Over 200 million years ago some trees fell in an ancient forest. No one was around to hear them fall. Maybe floodwaters toppled them, maybe the wind, or possibly they simply died. Most of the trees were swept downstream by floodwaters. Some were left stranded on the floodplains. And here, quite beautifully, they remain, petrified. On my way out of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, I was asked at the gate by a friendly ranger; “you’re not taking anything out, are you ?” And without even thinking I began to explain how my time here was like wandering a cathedral. I knew these were just rocks but they had life to them. And as I kept explaining her smile grew wider and wider. I told her how I dared not even touch them. How i felt unworthy to disturb something that had survived for millions of years, their beauty so out of place scattered across this otherworldly, barren landscape. I could see now a smile of recognition. “You have no idea how many people have tried to tell me the exact same thing”, she said. “Have a nice day.”

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