An Episcopal Minister once asked my daughter why I wasn’t in church.
“Oh, he’s out wandering in the woods,” she replied. “He considers it a sacred experience.”
“You can’t get absolution from a tree!” had been his angry retort.
I suspect the man had never hiked in the wilderness and experienced the sense of peace and healing such an experience can bring. Maybe he should have checked in with St. Francis. As for me, I go along with John Muir who said, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
I find any natural area, even a tree on a busy urban street, worthy of appreciation. But some areas deserve special attention. I’ve wandered the world to find them.
Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island in British Columbia is one such place. Ancient giants of the tree world call it home. This is a land of Red Cedars and Douglas Firs, some reaching 250 feet in height and dating back 800 years. It’s known as an old growth forest, which means it’s a rarity, one of the few forests to escape the relentless chainsaw.
Gradually we are learning to value and protect wilderness areas but it is a race against time. Driven by the desire to maximize profits and acting under the guise of job creation, timber interests continue to value forests primarily in terms of board feet produced.
As Peggy, Ken, Leslie and I hiked along the trails, we were struck by the beauty and greenness of the Grove. Hopefully my photographs below capture what we experienced. I found that http://www.cathedralgrove.eu/ provides a good overview on the Grove and the issues relating to protecting such areas.