I'm sure that trees think very hard.
What else could they be doing?
In the years and years of standing,
Thoughts are simmering and stewing.
They ponder why the sky is blue,
Why they haven't eyes to view it.
They wonder how their thinking works,
Without a brain to do it.
They imagine places they would go,
If they had some legs to roam,
But rooted deeply in the Earth,
They're happy with their home.
I'm sure they get to know themselves
With no one else to talk to,
No interrupting buzzing phones,
Or places they can walk to.
I'm sure they've found the deeper things
That can't be seen with eyes,
And heard the softer whispered truths
That noises can disguise.
I'm glad to be the thing I am,
I wouldn't choose to be a tree,
But once in a while,
Just might be good for me.
We could all use a bit of tree time. I read a science fiction book called Star Maker that was full of unusual and powerful ideas. A man leaves his body to become a traveler of the universe and meets some mind-bending creatures out there. Each alien race met in the story is vastly different from us in noth body and mind, and each presents a different perspective on our own existence. One of the more brief encounters in the book is an alien race of plant people who spend large portions of their lives rooted to their small planet’s surface, quietly soaking in the energy of their sun. They csn’t talk or watch internet videos while rooted. This frequent quiet time has a profound effect on the personalities of the plant people. I remember thinking how peaceful it would be to have several hours per day when other tasks have to be put aside. Sleep is great and so are dreams, but being wide awake while not moving is a completely different thing. This poem is a reminder to myself that doing nothing can be an important task too.
I’ve been making a little more tree time lately. A few minutes each day to just sit and do nothing at all. Not only can I feel my blood pressure lowering as I do tree time, but my mind works differently in this mode. New ideas make roots and branches connect thoughts that usually don’t go together. It’s a good way to find inspiration and get to know the inner workings of my own brain. I used to fear these quiet times. I used to call that “boredom” and when it came, I srarted frantically looking for entertainment to fill up the space. It takes practice to be still and it gets better the more we do it. It turns out that boredom ain’t so boring anymore.