In the Forest: A Photo Essay

For example, what do trees do?
not only in lightning storms
or the watery dark of a summer night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now – whenever
we’re not looking; surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it; the birds on the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.

~ Mary Oliver, Can You Imagine?

Every time I walked the forests – any forests – where man has not destroyed, I am grateful, and I would utter a silent prayer that they be allowed to remain this way, in a pristine state, free and wild and exuberant as nature intended them to be. For what else would they want to be but in this state, to be able to give, as they have given for time that is older than memory, all their magic that makes life possible on this precious, peerless planet?


1. Poem by Mary Oliver is taken from her book, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (Penguin Books, 2017).

2. The photos in this post were mainly taken by photographer, Hilde Sando Berland of the local forest in Bergen, Norway.

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