Life of ceaseless variety

Jeff took this photo of me in 2003, on one of my many visits to Muir Woods

Jeff took this photo of me in 2003, on one of my many visits to Muir Woods

“A forest is like the ocean, monotonous only to the ignorant.  It is a life of ceaseless variety.”Benjamin Disraeli

The giant redwoods first come to mind when someone mentions Muir Woods, but the park is actually teeming with diverse life forms, flora and fauna.  Much of it is hidden from sight, or seen only on close inspection, and some (such as the clustering ladybugs) are seasonal visitors.

But I confess, for all the fascinating natural wonders available to see and read about in the park, I most often found my thoughts turning inward during my visits there, in the sort of involuntary meditative state that such arboreal cathedrals induce.  The deep layers of life I saw as I walked along were a natural complement to the complex, sometimes cacophonic forest of my own thoughts, lulling me into a paradoxical calm.  In such places, it is almost impossible not to put one’s own life into perspective amid trees that have been standing for many centuries, some for even a thousand years.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. You can view the original with comments here.

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