My moments with General Sherman, the largest tree on earth is invaluable. I sat on one of the benches that surround this giant sequoia tree in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in California and looked at it for some time. Strong, enduring and imperturbable, I whispered to myself while looking at it. Slowly my eyes followed the trunk of General Sherman upwards and ended up seeing a beautiful blue sky.
Me to General Sherman –
I am not as lucky as you. I don’t get to live under the open sky and under the sparkling stars at night. ~ Chirasree Banerjee
Strong, enduring and imperturbable, I whispered to myself while looking at it. Slowly my eyes followed the trunk of General Sherman upwards and ended up seeing a beautiful blue sky. #Travel Click To Tweet I am not as lucky as you. I don't get to live under the open sky and under the sparkling stars at night. #Travel #TravelBlog Click To Tweet
The Sherman Tree Trail
After parking our car in the designated parking lot, we started walking on the Sherman Tree Trail. The trail was an instant relief from the scorching summer sun. I felt as if a veil of cold air gave me a bear hug. Long trees were standing on the two sides and I was walking quietly in the middle. I thought, no wonder that trees are our mightiest metaphor for the cycle of life.
Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. ~ Hermann Hesse
General Sherman – The largest tree on earth
Wherever I looked, I found refreshing green. After walking for some time, finally, I got to meet the majesty. It is 275 feet tall, and over 36 feet in diameter at the base.
I saw people from all over the world came to see a living history of 2000 years. I tried listening to this voiceless majesty; it is as if to touch a stethoscope to the skin of a landscape, to hear what stirs below.I tried listening to this voiceless majesty; it is as if to touch a stethoscope to the skin of a landscape, to hear what stirs below. #Travel #California Click To Tweet
The beauty of the forest is extraordinary — but “beauty” is too simple a word, for being here is not just an esthetic experience, but one steeped with mystery, and awe.
~ Oliver Sacks
My moments with General Sherman – The largest tree on earth!
When I tried taking a photograph of this tree, I saw there was a long queue of tourists all waiting to capture their moments with General Sherman and take them back home. I too joined the queue and waited for my turn. While waiting in the queue my eyes followed the tree upwards. I saw the leaves above were shimmering in the afternoon light and rustling while the trunk of the tree stood silently. A juxtaposition of silence and expression, both in perfect harmony.
I experienced a different kind of silence that day. In Paul Goodman’s words, it was
the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul ~ Paul Goodman
Also read about another beautiful national park: Joshua Tree National Park
This 2000 year old living giant Sequoia tree has endured and withstood so many environmental conditions and yet it is standing strong. It is a gentle reminder that life, for us as much as for those ancient organisms, is often about enduring and withstanding the uncontrollable, unpredictable, and unwelcome curveballs the universe throws our way, and that resilience comes from the dignity and humility of that withstanding.
My moments with the General Sherman imbue in me the spirit of patience, optimism, and resilience.
On our way back
We were pressed for time so decided to walk towards the main road to take the shuttle bus to reach our parking place. On our way back, we came across a fallen tree and crossed the tree tunnel.
Adieu General Sherman
My appreciation of trees, my love of green and feeling of delight after seeing a tree is not limited to this tree alone, but to all. Nevertheless, I will cherish my moments with General Sherman – the largest tree on earth in the Sequoia National Park forever. I have one wish though; I would love to see this giant sequoia tree at dawn, with the morning hues spread over it. Until that day, adieu General Sherman.