To Know a Tree

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It’s hard not to see
the sky as crying,
the trees as reaching
for things taught to them
in dreams, as whispers
in the interminable night,
not to see loneliness
in winter’s swift taking
of autumn’s leaves,
and hope when in spring,
buds sprout green and true.
Do the mountains
grumble with discontent
before they explode
their molten heat
on an unprepared city?
Do the rocks sigh
from the burden
of absorbing our pain
over the centuries?
I ask these questions,
and understand the work
I have to do, to sit
in silence with all beings,
until I know where
suffering really lies,
and where it is
we have our comfort,
our nourishing, our healing.

– Tammy Takahashi

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