I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

This is the second of my reflections on my retreat to Glacier National Park. I had hoped to be able to blog from the park for the week that I will be hiking, but I am told the WiFi is spotty. So, I am not taking my computer with me (I can already feel withdrawal symptoms). When you receive this reflection, I will have already been at the park for 5 days unless I have been eaten by a bear. My hope when I return, I can share some of the thoughts, insights, and adventure of my week. Again, if I have not been eaten by a bear.

I am a tree hugger. Not that I go around and hug trees that often. This might cause some strange looks. But I do have a deep love and gratitude for trees – their majesty and beauty and grandeur.

Dr. Greenway, the theologian who spoke at our “For Love of All Creation Conference” this past Earth Day, observed that it was ironic that some folks have turned the phrase “tree huggers” into something negative and undesirable.   This is unfortunate because I think it a good thing to hug a tree!

I have always loved trees ever since I was a kid and went to see the Great Sequoia Redwoods in Northern California. Those trees are some of the oldest living things in existence many of them 800 to 1500 years old. I don’t believe one can experience those trees without coming away believing in our Creator God.

I also talk to trees. This may even sound stranger, but I have always imagined they listened. They are alive after all; and profoundly connected to the other trees that they even talk to each other in their own way. (I encourage you to read “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben). There are many ways to talk and listen in this amazing and awesome world we inhabit.

As I hike through Glacier, I know I will be hugging and talking to some trees. Or at least introducing myself to them. I believe I will get a deeper sense of God as I do so. I’ll try to send pictures and pass along anything they tell me.

Hugging and talking to Trees is what I like to do with my wild and precious life!