Essay: Forest Of Dreams

With the names of trees you can make a fine pagan bouquet of words: hornbeam, ginkgo, quickbeam, oak, white willow, tamarind, Lombardy poplar, false cypress, elder, laburnum, larch, baobab, black gum, rowan, hazel, whitebeam, tree of heaven, ash . . .

At one time trees were sacred. Gods inhabited them and took their forms. Trees were druidic. They rose out of the earth, gesticulating, tossing their hair. They were the tenderest life-form: cooling, sheltering, calming, enigmatic. Or else they might harbor terrors: beasts and devils in the dark forest. They were, in either case, magic. Still are, of course, although they...

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