Silence and Awe, Ambassadors From Another Time

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Redwoods and Rhododendrons along the Avenue of the Giants
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My Chevy Tahoe dwarfed.

They carry their own light and shade. The vainest, most slap-happy and irreverent of men, in the presence of redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect…. One feels the need to bow to unquestioned sovereigns. There’s a cathedral hush here. Perhaps the thick soft bark absorbs sound and creates a silence. The trees rise straight up to zenith; there is no horizon…. [T]he green fernlike foliage so far up strains the sunlight to a green gold and distributes it in shafts or rather in stripes of light and shade. To me there’s a remote and cloistered feeling here. One holds back speech for fear of disturbing something—what? ~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley In Search of America, 1962

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