In the words of Eugene Peterson, ‘We live in a culture where image is everything and substance is nothing. We live in a culture where a new beginning is far more attractive than a long follow through.’
During a couple of my own microadventures, my objective was to discover these fabled ancient trees within Colorado. My aim was to break away from the minor everyday dramas and, instead, seek solace beneath these revered mentors who epitomize the principles of substance over image and a long follow through.
Guided by maps, online articles about secret locations and inspired by Draper & Green’s call to “find an ancient tree and spend time with it,” I embarked on this journey.
“If you pause beside an ancient tree for long enough, it may well yeld all sorts of secrets. We stand close to the tree in a quiet reverie. Here, the ego is quickly quietened. You cannot hope to impress a tree like this. John O’Donohue refers to the ‘wild divinity’ of trees, and I’d like to think, standing before this specimen, that it calls to something of the wild divinity in me, in us. You are a wild soul, despite it all. We were made for more than simply building widgets.”Soulful Nature, A spiritual field guide | Draper & Green
Thriving at 2,000+ years old, in arid, windblown terrain, amidst rocky companions, much like the Great Basin Bristlecone Pines, which have stood resilient for over 5,000 years in the harshest of environments, we too can find inspiration in their unwavering endurance. These magnificent trees, found only in California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, flourish in the most inhospitable places – at higher altitudes, in arid, craggy landscapes.
It’s inspiring to see these trees thrive for millennia, untouched by modern distractions. They teach us the value of commitment, substance over style, and authenticity over appearances. Let them remind us to persevere in our own journeys, finding strength in their enduring presence. The path of substance and character truly matters.
Here’s to a long follow through.