The Tree of Life

It was early Sunday morning and I had driven overnight from Glasgow.  I knew that if I went straight home, sleep would ambush me and I would wake around 4 o’clock in the afternoon with that awful feeling of having ‘missed the day’. So I decided to go and see Martin’s Oak.

The sky was turning a dusty rose as I turned off the ignition and the silence after hours of engine noise was startling. I wound down the window and breathed in the heady smell of the morning air, as I watched the dusty-rose light growing in the east.

The light was increasing rapidly, so I finished the sandwich and coffee I had bought along the way and set off across the field towards the Oak. matins1 

The power of the Oak is immense and demands respect. The first time I approached the ancient tree of life, I felt a living spirit and an aura which radiated far beyond it’s branches. Yet this morning I felt a difference, the Oak seemed like a child waiting for it’s father – for it’s Creator. Like a priest turning towards the altar, the Oak stood, as if waiting for a greater power.

I approached quietly and stood beside the ancient trunk. 

…From under the arms of the sacred tree and safe within it’s aura, I looked out over the lagoon of mist that filled the valley and the dawn breaking in the east.


under the oak copyright 

then I saw the Miracle

the sun god (2) copyright 

and then


my camera power ran out.

For a moment my elation was replaced with despair –  suddenly I remembered  a set of batteries I had bought some time ago and which had gone missing. Perhaps they were in the car. I turned and ran across the field, like a best man at a wedding who has forgotten the ring, with the mocking harsh laughter of the crows, the smokey hoot of a woodpigeon and a teasing chorus of twittering laughter from the hidden nests in the ancient forest.

I reached the car and thrust my hand into the mass of luggage on the rear seat…

…and found them.


the oak from the car copyright

I turned and ran back toward the tree; the light of the sun was now blinding, so I veered to the right so that the sun would be behind the oak – and skidded to a stop. I was out of breath but my hands were shaking for another reason, as I took photograph after photograph…

the oak womb copyright

“I am the tree of life”

  born again copyrightthe rising sun copyright   












“and  I am the Sun born over and over “

  amen copyright      




~ by soulmerlin on May 18, 2008.

13 Responses to “The Tree of Life”

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Oh, how I love that shot with the sun shining through. It spoke a thousand words.

  2. Thank you. . . for reminding me

  3. I am crying right now. To write ANYTHING after this post seems sacrilegious. And yet, I want you to know how profoundly this touched me. This has to be one of the most beautiful posts I’ve “experienced” anywhere. I am SO proud of you for seeing such beauty….AND taking time to appreciate it….just your “knowing” to appreciate is means that you are fully alive. You have not forgotten.

    The photos are exquisite. I SO wish this whole poem and all the photos was a print or poster that I could put in on my wall. I have such a complete passion and connection with trees and even certain specific trees. I wrote a lot about my love of trees in the book I just finished. So it is really moving for me to see a kindred soul who adores, loves and knows to revere the trees. I have always loved your OAK ever since I first read about it and saw the first picture of it.

    I am so glad you posted this. It is REMARKABLY beautiful. Worthy of great praise. Thank you, Henry. I have been here a few times to see if you had had time to write; so it good to “see” you again. 🙂 Thank you for this gift. RainforestRobin

  4. Dear Tamera Scott and Robin ~ Again I am really touched by your comments.

    I’ve just got home and it’s a quarter after midnight and I’ve got to be up for auditions in London, by 7am at the latest, so I’ve got to go to bed ~ and I really need to read your blogs, especially Robin, who I have neglected.

    One thing you say Scott “reminding me” reminds(!) me of a poem by E.E Cummings:

    “children guessed (but only a few) and down they forgot as up they grew.

    Let’s hope none of us become grown-ups 🙂



  5. That was an incredible post. Beautiful and the photos so breathtaking. I love your writing and how your sense of humor pokes through! Thank you

  6. My first visit to your blog and I see this…for you to experience this alone would have been enough, but you captured it and shared it with strangers. How beautiful.

  7. Thank you for sharing ‘your’ tree with us. It was lovely to see the sun rise.

  8. Very touching, Soul Merlin. I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing.

    You captured the moment so well, in your words, in your photos.

  9. […] Soul Merlin’s The Three of Life  […]

  10. What an excellent post.

    Great words. Great photography.

    “…born over and over…”

    I really needed to remember that today.

  11. […] The Tree of Life […]

  12. The tree is a symbol of love and hope which resonates as the light filters through. These images remind human beings of the beauty and miracles that make up this world. Love permeates through everything and spirit is also visible and invisible depending on how wide you open your perception.

  13. Hi Henry,
    Absolutley breath taking. I am going to refer people from my blog to this, your words once again makes us all feel we are there with you. I also love the saying born over and over again.
    Take Care,
    Janet 🙂

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