Trees are simple.
When I enter the woods to endure a long walk, carrying the weight of my tumultuous and disorganized internal world, the trees just…stand there. And listen. They don’t fidget. They don’t run away, yet their leaves waver and pulsate so I know they are attentive.
When I enter the woods, I feel authentic. The trees have no conception of how the world has made me out to be. Their uneven and unshaved bark covers their wood, blinding them from misguided speculations. They do not see a minority, but rather they sense a person. When I am with the trees I do not feel that I speak too soft, nor do I feel overbearing. I do not feel stereotyped nor unoriginal. I do not worry about the way I present myself or the type of impression I’m making. I perceive that I am allowed to feel however it is I feel. I feel…human.
When I am among the trees, regardless of their immense height towering over me, I do not feel small. In my head I may be weeping, screaming or rambling an endless stream of consciousness. I unleash myself to a forest that stood still through a storm, and every surrounding change in weather, but I do not feel intimidated.
When I enter the woods, I do not have to say a single word. I arrive on the trail more messy than the dirt path itself, but each and every time I leave I am fulfilled and gratified. I may not have solved whatever problem I was trying to escape from through a moderate hike expedition, but I feel listened to. I feel cared for. I feel heard.
Anyone who spends time walking or hiking can attest to this truth. It is inexplicable– the power of trees. I don’t know any other way to describe it. They care about you. Why else would people turn to nature to self-reflect. There come times when there is nothing anyone can say to comfort you, and that’s when you take a walk, feel the crisp air gently graze against your skin, and reveal yourself to the trees.
So when we continue our fight for justice, make sure our environment is part of it.