Love It Gently

In the Pacific Northwest, the Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is king of the forest.  It usually grows straight and tall, and may exceed 300 feet/100 meters.  Some get second lives as telephone poles.  In the West Beach sand dunes at Deception Pass State Park, there is a very special Douglas Fir.  The park's interpretive sign says it best:
"For over 850 years, this Douglas Fir has stood witness to the forming and changing of these dunes.  Thick bark and strong wood have served well against storm, fire, drought and disease.  Through all of this time it has offered generations of people its leaves for shelter, limbs for climbing, and branches for sitting.  Its bark is strong, but thinning from so much climbing.  Love it gently.  Look on it with thought for the times it has seen.  Find its stillness while you listen to the forest, dunes and sea.  Wonder at what forces sculpted it so.  Reflect on the ways its relatives touch your lives.  Love it gently and it will live to shelter your children and theirs, as well."
This is why we preserve special places and the things they contain.

      "Come boy, sit down.  Sit down and rest."
And the boy did.  And the tree was happy.  The end.
                          -Shel Silverstein