April Great Story by Victoria Hernandez, 2016-17 Bay Area Climate Fellow

In the silence of the trees, a presence greeted me;
Why has it taken you so long to come and visit me?
Come; sit on my trunk and embrace my energy,
The very little I have to offer after many centuries.
The creatures, they are startled, but walk gently towards me.
Watch your step; I apologize for my branches and debris;
Man took my family and broke these in 1823
How do I recover? I can no longer remember,
The rhythm of water on a rainy evening.
I call out to Cloud Brothers, but my voice is weakening.
All I have ever wanted to do is make clean air for breathing.
I watch Beauty struggle, and I can hardly believe,
Man does not remember how to live cohesively.
But you, my two children, I see your destiny,
And I, too, desire greatly to be free.
I may not have much time left,
But come over whenever you need me.
As long as I am rooted, Great Mother protects me.
Let your human-kind know that I am always listening
And when my fellow trees fall, I am in sorrow weeping.
But thank you, my friends, for a warm greeting.
Even after my time here comes full circle and complete,

My love remains, in this space, for all eternity.