Monday, July 17, 2006

Listening to the trees

mango trees

One of my favorite poets, Rabindranath Tagore, had this to say: "Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven." Samuel Taylor Coleridge said: "Friendship is a sheltering tree." Perhaps they're both right. I have no profound statement to make about trees. I can only say that I like listening to them.

Two ancient, towering mango trees stand like proud old soldiers behind our house. As I sit here typing this, I can hear the wind rustling through the leaves, making comforting noises. Sometimes, when the wind is very strong, the trees make howling sounds -- kind of like the wailing I imagine a banshee would make. And when the wind is very soft, I can hear only the slightest of murmurs from the leaves, sounding not unlike the sigh of silk against skin or the whisper of a lover. All these sounds I enjoy. They're music to my ears.

I like living in this part of Metro Manila. There are still many green, open spaces... and majestic trees. The person who owns the lot behind our house has been living in another country for many, many years now. I hope he never sells that lot or decides to have something constructed on it. Losing these two big mango trees would be a heartache for the community; it would be like losing a couple of dear, familiar friends.

Coleridge was right to describe them as sheltering friends; these mango trees have been a happy sight to generations who have grown up within their vicinity. Tagore was right, too, when he said that trees are the earth's endless efforts to speak to the listening heaven. But it's not just heaven that trees speak to. The sounds the wind makes through their leaves go straight to a place deep inside me. I can't help but listen... and try to understand what they're trying to say.


Andrew said...

We have a swing on our back deck where we like to sit. It's nice in the Spring, but it's not until summer when the surrounding trees get their leaves that it's truly relaxing -- the sound of the leaves in the wind seems to pull the stress right out of you.

I arrived here via "bestest blog..." by the way.

Lizza said...

Hi Andrew,

You're right, the sound of the wind through the leaves is a great stress-reliever. So is the sound of the waves at the beach.

Thanks for dropping by!
I'll be visiting your blog too.

pissedpoet said...

Enjoyed your post Lizza, and am in total agreement. I have always held the opinion that trees are sentient beings with a lot to tell us if we can only stand still long enough to deciper their meaning.

Lizza said...

Thanks, Henry!

Yes, it's good to just stop sometimes to smell the roses...and listen to the trees. :-)

Hope your Tagalog-learning is moving along splendidly! At sana hindi bumabaha diyan sa lugar ninyo. Lagi pa naman umuulan ngayon.