09/16/2010 03:14 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Oh Mighty Tree

My Ode to Nature:


Oh mighty tree must you stand so tall?

Do you know how long I have yearned to be near you?

To feel the touch of your skin against the weight of my heavy heart

Since the beginning of time

I have grown accustomed to your beautiful boughs and gentle swaying leaves

I have sat amongst the clustering of your youth

You have protected me against tyranny, hatefulness and shame. Coveted my innocence

shielding me against the preposterousness of war

Like the soldier standing erect in a gaze which holds no promise of immortality,

you wilt in the sun against her gaze knowing the heat of the day will bring slumber when

night falls and when the moon trapezes across the tapestry of your skin you shine

For you have the sustenance of Mother Nature as a protectorate and the soldier has a loaded gun

Your perching branches hover and protect the flurried winged ones and the dusty trailing nut seekers

Whilst the soldier's veins bleed an unrelenting sorrow for the innocence of life once


Only once

Your vivid beauty, your presence for which words can hardly describe makes pastures of nothingness gape in awe

And for those who come to stand under you or lie quietly at your roots beneath the skies you welcome with unabandoned love sovereignty and truth

But forgiveness is the hollow in your chest

A place of your sacred heart for those whose mankind abandoned, misused, and condemned

Your heart lies heavy but does not lie still nor does it whimper

It listens to the winds of time stir the remembrance of chaos and calamity

It beckons us all to see the gnarly craggy faces and spines of human flesh that hung to rot never knowing the peace you gave from within

Mighty tree, I see you as my savior. My saint. My holy one.

For I am blessed to hold your earthen woven rounds of time

And I will speak softly to the angels when they come

May I always remember you, Oh Mighty Tree,

for your presence, beauty and your sound

Let freedom ring!

~Nancy Chuda

Oak Pasture Santa Ynez

August 12, 2010

Nancy Chuda is the co-founder of and Healthy Child Healthy World.