To be aware of the wonder and enchantment of this world, it's astonishing creatures and complex interactions, and to be aware simultaneously of the remarkably rapid destruction of every living system, is to take on a burden of grief that is almost unbearable.
And yet, there is so much more that trees have to teach us about time itself. The first is that it’s circular. We grow not only taller, but wider—circles within circles, every iteration of ourselves contained within, written in the repetition of our rings. We grow both older and younger. The second is that there is a season for everything. Time passes both quickly and slowly, as does our growth. The third is that, like the years of a tree as reflected in its rings, time is defined by both the dark and the light. Without either, we would not be able to read its passage.