There are sacred spaces built by humans: the ancient ruins at Stonehenge, the majesty of Chartres Cathedral in France, the great Pyramids of Giza. And then there is Earth’s cathedral: the soaring heights of trees in forest, creating a canopy of shelter lifted skyward by massive limbs and the trunks that support them.
Photographs cannot truly capture what it is like to walk among the California Redwoods, completely alone, the forest silent except for late-season birds and the sound of my footsteps meandering down the narrow dirt trail. I crane my neck up at every bend, the trees soaring so very high above me.
The golden gothic era of stone cathedrals, with their high, vaulted ceilings and expansive windows of stained glass were designed to direct the eyes upward to heaven. In the cathedral of redwoods, the tallest of the trees do the same.
I feel so small walking among them, looking upward to appreciate their true majesty and measure my true size on this planet. May the redwoods survive forever, a sacred space for me, for you, and for generations to come. Namaste, redwoods.
The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe.
Travels with Charley: In Search of America
For millennia the two-million acre redwood ecosystem thrived and sheltered myriad species of life. In the last 150 years, 97 percent of the original redwood forests have been destroyed by timber corporations. … Big business cut-and-run logging operations have instilled a false dichotomy: jobs versus the environment.