Amidst the Giants in Sequoia National Park


“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

In the early-morning hours in Sequoia National Park, the bees hover in groups warming themselves in the slats of sunlight that poke through the spaces between the trees. The snapping of branches just off of the path warns of black bears close by. The air is still cool up in the mountains and the forest awakens with the brightness of the day. The giants come to life in the breeze, casting dancing shadows over their forest neighbours.


Sequoia National Park is home to four of the five largest trees in the world. General Sherman, Earth’s largest tree, stands 275 feet tall with a circumference of 103 feet. In this cathedral-like grove the giant Sequoia trees are immortal. Wounded by fire, root damage, and strong winds, these giants advance confidently to the sky year after year, generation after generation.

The Japanese have a practice called shinrin-yoku, which roughly translates to “forest bathing”. It’s a form therapy that involves spending time with trees, breathing in their essential oils. It has proven to be an effective treatment for relaxation and stress-management. Though, taking all senses into account, spending time among the trees is an essential part of simplifying your life. It helps to realize what is really important and what is merely occupying your time. Understanding the extraordinary cycles of nature is that humbling success in these common hours.


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