In the Presence of Elders

On Saturday, I felt overwhelmed and overworked. I knew what I had to do. I had to go visit the oaks.  Within minutes of entering the grove, I was calmed. Was this because I was in the presence of elders? Using the table below, I figure the Garry Oaks at American Camp Historical National Park to be about… 200-300 years old. I am fresh enough from visting my friend near White Salmon, where the poison oak understory is abundant, to be very grateful for an oak savannah that allows relaxed meandering, with grasses–mostly Ryegrass (Elymus glaucus) and Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus)–and mossy rocky knolls.
Circumference (inches)
Diameter (inches)
Conservative Age
(years)
Average Age
(years)
37.7
12
84
88
75.4
24
168
175
113.1
36
252
262
150.8
48
336
350
188.5
60
420
438
226.2
72
502
52

Meanwhile, the air was alive with robins. I did a little research on the lifespan of robins and while the information is surprisingly little, it seems they live a short life, with the oldest being about 8.5 years (in captivity).

  (Click here for source of photo.)

So, there we were, us and a whole lot more than my eye could see or brain comprehend, alive on this planet (estimated age: 4.54 billion years old). One rooted in the earth, one walking, one flying–on one day in December in 2011. That  small, huge fact changed my mood.

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