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Courtesy Henry Cowell State Park

A friend and I took  a nature walk during her recent visit to my community in Central Coast California. I chose Henry Cowell State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, home to the centuries old Redwood Grove that features a self-guided nature path. As we strolled we both realized at the same time that we were seeing God in the giant redwoods.

The grove includes other old-growth woods such as Douglas fir, mandrone, oak and a stunning group of Ponderosa pines. The oldest trees in the park are about 1400 to 1800 years old. We couldn’t help but stop and look up in awe at the majesty of these mighty trees and the resilience they display. Some have been burned, twisted, maimed by wind and fire but they stand proud and tall nonetheless. And new trees grow alongside the old-timers.

I was inspired by their ability to come back from stress again and again and still go on living after thousands of years. This reminds me of the verse in the bible:

For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory” (Deuteronomy 20:4).

If God will take care of a grove of trees, imagine how he will take care of you and me. Don’t give up. Stand tall. Look to the Lord and trust. Finding God in the giant redwoods was one more nudge to turn to him in all ways and in all things. As we concluded our walk my friend and I agreed with the poet Joyce Kilmer who wrote, ‘Only God can make a tree.’

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Only God Can Make a Tree! — 12 Comments

    • Thank you, Etta Mae. 🙂 I know you walk among those redwoods often and you’ve been a volunteer at the park so they mean a lot to you. To me, too.

  1. Amazing how God’s creation shows us who He is. I’m glad for this wonderful experience you and your friend shared. “Only God …”

    • Thanks, Carol. So often when we feel lost a good walk among the trees can be healing.

  2. Dear Karen, thanks for the beautiful writing. I do feel God’s Holy Spirit in trees. One of my joys for the past few months while walking/jogging every morning around the Legion of Honor golf course is to gaze in awe a grove of seedling pine trees sprouting up in the perfect vacant spot around the adult pine trees. They’re growing so fast right in front of my very own eyes … so precious … healthy and beautiful … I’ve been watching them grow … Amazing scene … every day when I pass them by, I praise God for granting me such awesome beauty to look at … And I pray to God that I’ll be blessed with same sprouting hope and faith in Him. Jing

    • Jing, what a beautiful setting you have for walking each morning. I can imagine these little seedling trees inspire your own growth and trust in God. They do mine, just reading about them.

  3. I loved the Redwood Forest when Herb and I walked there and were awed at the beauty. The poem you mentioned was set to music and it was one of my favorite songs to sing. One of my favorite lines in the poem about the tree is “a tree who looks at God all day and lifts her leafy arms to pray”.>This blog is special to me as Trees hold a special place in my heart and I already have my bronze marker on the plot where I will be buried and beside my name is a huge outline of a beautiful tree!>BTW Orlando is known as a Beautiful city and I have to agree as I have never seen as many trees in a city as we have here and they are beautiful!>Thanks, Karen, for another winner! Margaret

    • Margaret, what fun it was to read your experience with Herb in the redwood forest, as Charles and I took similar walks in our area. I remember the song your referred to. Haven’t thought about it in years. Thanks for the reminder. Such lovely words.

  4. Dear Karen, I so much enjoy your wisdom, your beautiful writings and now your speaking. You are a gifted person in so many ways. When I grow up I want to be like you!

    • Roz, thank you for your kind comment. You are already a gifted and beautiful person yourself! (Loved hearing you and others playing the uke last night. Fun!)

  5. Thanks, Mary, for adding your comments about loving trees too. Yes, I agree that nature provides great comfort and inspiration for our writing.

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