Oak is quietly present. Majestic but unobtrusive.
Oak was one of the first plants I really felt. When Viridian, my daughter, was just a toddler we used to go to Piccolo Park in SE Portland. There are 3 ancient Oak trees surrounding the playground. I would find myself sitting under the tree leaned right up against the trunk, which is at least 4 feet across. Under the tree my thoughts were calm and clear, focused and grounded. But it was a cool day, so I moved out into the lawn past the edge of the shadow and quickly my thoughts found their way back to their busy, anxious trails contemplating all I had to do. I was so struck by this contrast that I moved back and forth, in and out from under the tree until I was certain that the tree itself had altered my thoughts, my feelings and my whole way of being.
After that I would frequent the park just to bask in the calm, cool, steady feeling under the oak. It wasn’t until years later that I found a similar effect from other plants. But the particular flavor of Oak peace is one I am always drawn back to.
Today I found myself on Mount Talbert wandering through the Doug Fir forest looking for a place to sit. As I rounded the NW corner of the hill I caught sight of the sun and veered off the path towards a patch of ferns. Then this massive Oak caught my attention and I just had to go to it. What a blessing.