I wandered the woods,
followed the narrow dusty track,
skeletons of season on season littered my feet.
Sat beneath an aged oak,
salt tears stung my cheeks
as crows in the treetops taunted my sorrow.
I sobbed for the acrid air and poisoned rivers,
mourned the dying ash,
grieved the stray swallow family,
wailed the loss of lively hedgerow and swaying meadow,
sighed my sadness into the shadows.
“Hush child,” whispered the oak
lowering rough branches to cradle me,
foliage cool as the rippling stream.
“We will be here when human has gone.
When cutting, digging and taking is silent.
When shaping, ordering and reinventing is done.
Our seeds will grow deep in Earth’s warmth.
Our roots will spread wide and strong in the quiet.
Humankind will fall as Autumn leaves.
Flutter away like dust.
Hush now, your time draws near.
Spend it safe beneath our mantle.
Drink in calm, green beauty.
Rest on soft, mossy banks.
Be as trees, use only what is needed.
Grow resilient, face your future without fear.”
Renewed, I rose and began the journey home.