In the Avenue of the Elders

Approx. read time: 1:00 min

Climbing the north side of Spencer Butte along Eugene’s Ridgeline Trail, I enter the sacred silence of these sturdy elder trees, perhaps spared the ravages of earlier fires and windstorms. Photo credit: Mary Sharon Moore, 2022


Oh Elders,
I touch your venerable bark
and stand in awe of your magnificence
as I walk this stretch of trail.

You stand today
exactly where you began,
not one inch off from
where you stood as saplings.
Your roots, invisible,
hold you secure.

In this quiet midday hour,
as early autumn sun warms
the slopes of the butte,
I sit in your shade and
take my lunch.

Mother Squirrel scrambles up
a trunk with a fir cone
fixed firm in the
grip of her jaw,
stashing food, no doubt,
for coming winter.

She pauses to scold me,
fearful, perhaps, that I will
see where she puts her
winter’s store.

Where do you find magnificence in Creation? What place do you touch, as it touches you? Let me know your experience.

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