I recently visited a friend outside of White Salmon. As always, the walk into her grove of Oregon White Oaks was an excursion into an enchanted world. I have always loved the space and “negative space” (Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image.) of winter trees. Combine that with lichen, moss and a few lingering golden leaves in the long shafts of a winter sun and you have … magic.
So let’s start with that. Magic, that is. And maybe the nature of the Divine, which preceded and followed the walk in the Oak Grove.
Source of image and quotes below: blogspot.com/2009/12/holy-oak-tree-religion.html
Oak Knower: “In Gaelic, “Druidh” is the compound of *dru + *uid = oak-knower. In the ancient Celtic society Druid was a name bestowed on a seer or visionary who possessed ‘oak knowledge.’
The Goddess: The pre-Christian world was the world of Celts, who worshiped nature. To the Celtic outlook, the land was the main goddess, the rivers were her helpers and they enriched the earth. Celts used to live in forests, where they were close to the nature and could learn the language of trees and wisdom of animals. With the appearance of Christianity ancient Celts didn’t disturb their close ties with nature; they connected their love to nature with the main principles of Christianity. Celtic monks lived in deep forests and wrote their religious works for the gifts of nature. The most important thing was to understand the divine origin of all things and god’s existence in nature. Celts saw life as a constantly changing circulation of life and death. Everything moved in a spiral and nature’s observation gave a possibility to find mechanism of development of the world.”
When I got home to my own Oak Grove, I resolved to become an Oak Knower. Yes, the tree of the San Juan Islands that I love best is the same Quercus garryana—the Garry Oak is the same as the Oregon White Oak. The next few entries will explore the world of this sacred and amazing tree.