In their cups they whisper the world, their roots rest in the infinite, but they are not lost in it, but they pursue with all the strength of their existence one thing only: to fulfill their own law, which resides in them, to develop their own form, to represent themselves. There is nothing more exemplary and more holy than a beautiful and strong tree. When a tree has been cut down and it shows its mortal wound to the world, in the clear circumference of its stock and monument all its history can be read: fences and deformations easily describe all its suffering, all the struggle, all the diseases, all the happiness and prosperity, the leafy years, the attacks overcome and the storms survived. And any young peasant knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest fences, that at the top of the mountains and in constant danger the strongest, most exemplary and indestructible trunks grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Who knows how to speak for them, who knows how to listen to them, learns the truth. They do not preach doctrines and recipes; they preach indifferent to detail, the primitive law of life.

A tree says: in my life is hidden a nucleus, a spark, a thought, I am life of eternal life. The attempt and creation that Mother Earth has dared in me is unique. My mission is to shape and present the eternal in my unique marks.

A tree says: my strength is trust. I know nothing of my parents, I know nothing of thousands of shoots that every year come from me. I live to the end of the secret of my seed, I have no other concern. Trees have dilated thoughts, neat and serene, as well as a longer life than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we learn to listen to the trees, the brevity, speed, and infantile haste of our thoughts acquire unprecedented joy. Whoever has learned to listen to the trees no longer wants to be a tree. He doesn't want to be anything more than what he is.

Hermann Hesse

Wandering: Notes and Sketches

All our motives architectural and musical, all our harmonies of color and light, and so on, are directly taken from nature. Without evoking the sea, the mountain, the skies, the night, the twilights, what not could you say, for example, about the beauty of trees? I speak not only of the tree considered in the forest, which is one of the Earth's forces, perhaps the main source of our instincts, of our feeling of the universe, but of the tree itself, of the solitary tree, whose green oldness is loaded of a thousand stations. Between these impressions that, without our knowing it, form the limpid and perhaps the background of happiness and calm of our whole existence, who among us does not keep memory of some beautiful trees? When one has spent half of one's life, when one arrives at the end of the marvellous period, when almost all the spectacles that can be found in the world have been exhausted to offer the art, genius and luxury of the centuries and of men, after having experimented and compared to many things, it becomes very simple memories. These raise in the purified horizon two or three innocent images, invariable and fresh, that we would like to take with us in the last dream, if it is truth that an image can cross the threshold that separates our two worlds. I do not imagine paradise, nor life beyond the grave, however splendid it may be, that they were not in such a magnificent place beech from Sainte Baume, such a cypress or such a parasoled pine from Florence or from a humble neighbouring hermitage of my house, that offer to the passer-by the model of all the great movements of resistance necessary, of calm courage, of thrust, of gravity, of silent victory and of perseverance.

Maurice Maeterlinck

The intelligence of flowers

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