Life in the Forest

Up close and personal with a Giant Redwood
Up close and personal with a Giant Redwood


Ancient trees stretch their majestic branches skyward in anticipation of the coming rain.

Proud maples, wiry elms, yews, oaks and redwoods awakened from their somber slumber.

Small pellets, then a multitude of drops fall, building a luminescent transparent curtain.

Water, first tiny droplets that gently descend downward on their journey through the leaves.

From the green to the branches, moisture falling gracefully, leaping forth with abandonment

The echoes of their impact, a collection of timpano each pitch feeding the collective

The earth greedily drinks, filling long since dry pores, softening forgotten hardpack

Puddles, some large, some small, fill and flow, herding bits of precious topsoil to new real estate

The birth of a stream, the water it’s blood, spreading life across the lowlands.

What was once quiet and still now erupting into a wet wonderland of sight and sound.

One tiny branch has joined the falling raindrops to be royally seated atop a fluid pool.

While the storm continues to rages high above the forest canopy, the land is calm

Shielded from the lightning and dampening of the thunder by the generosity of the trees

And so we watch as one journey begins, across newly formed wetlands, puddles, and streams

Like a fluid system of roots, the converging wetness races to the river carrying soil and all

Distance unknown but far it does seem that soil and branches collide

With the water now slow the gathering begins, leaving a delta behind in its wake

It is here where the tiny branch will show itself to be more than just a broken twig.

For as the raindrops finally cease to fall and the skies once again begin to lighten.

That leafy branch now teeters atop the rich dark delta waiting to finally reveal itself.

As hidden among the leaves is a single shielded seed pod, ready to reproduce.

Swollen with water, the pod breaks free near the branch, submerging in the remnants above

And as if on command, the current slides over to lift and carry the branch away

It continues its journey, not certain where it will end; it’s mission complete.

As day pass into weeks, and finally to months a stirring of questions arise in the mind.

What has become of the tiny seed, did it survive the torrents after the storm?

Did rain or wind dislodge the seed pod to a watery end, or did it survive to flourish?

Gentle encouragement from the sun and nutrients from the rich soil fostered it.

Wildflowers and honeybees waved and flitted about the seedling, filling it with love.

High grasses hid the tiny sprout from the creatures who might be tempted to nibble.

What once seemed lost, defenseless and small, just a slim hope of survival

Was fed and nurtured by its surroundings, each giving something different in their own way.

The forest provides, the ecosystem shares its strength, and the circle continues.


The Redwood National Forest


Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

2 thoughts on “Life in the Forest

  • April 21, 2016 at 12:39 AM

    A wonderful rendition of nature’s ways, the cycles of life and the connections of all things. Some lovely phrasing my friend and a warm and detailed account of life giving rains and the beauty of life. Well penned.

  • April 21, 2016 at 11:20 PM

    This brought back memories from last year when I did a little backpacking in the Redwoods of northern California. I love how you magically and beautifully described something so scientific as the water cycle.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

Our cookie settings are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. By continuing to browse this website you are accepting our cookie policy.