A friend sent me a poem this morning, a prayer to the tall trees.
For each child thou shalt plant a tree, Thus, shall sing the Children of Light, When the earth again shall be a garden:
Holy Tree, divine gift! Thy majesty reunites all those Who have strayed from their true home, Which is the Garden of the Brotherhood.
All men will become brothers once again Under thy spreading branches.
As the Heavenly Father hath loved all his children, So shall we love and care for the trees That grow in our land, So shall we keep and protect them, That they may grow tall and strong, And fill the earth again with their beauty.
Don’t get bogged down in the theology. The poem is attributed to the Essenes, a mystical Jewish group that had thousands of followers living in Roman Judea.
The Essenes have gained fame with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but this poem is thought be written by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, in the 1920’s.
Still, I was struck by the poem and wanted to share it with you. This is from Book 3 of the Essene Gospel of Peace, which Edmond Szekely claimed to find and translate, but which was never seen by anyone else.
Go towards the high growing Trees,
And before one of them
Which is beautiful, high growing and mighty,
Say thou these words:
Hail be unto Thee!
O good living Tree,
Made by the Creator.
In the days of old, when the Creation was young,
The earth was filled with giant trees,
Whose branches soared above the clouds,
And in them dwelled our Ancient Fathers,
They who walked with the Angels,
And who lived by the Holy Law.
In the shadow of their branches all men lived in peace,
And wisdom and knowledge were theirs,
And the revelation of the Endless Light.
Through their forests flowed the Eternal River,
And in the center stood the Tree of Life,
And it was not hidden from them.
They ate from the table of the Earthly Mother,
And slept in the arms of the Heavenly Father,
And their covenant was for eternity with the Holy Law.
In that time the trees were the brothers of men,
And their span on the earth was very long,
As long as the Eternal River,
Which-flowed without ceasing
From the Unknown Spring.
Now the desert sweeps the earth with burning sand,
The giant trees are dust and ashes,
And the wide river is a pool of mud.
For the sacred covenant with the Creator
Was broken by the sons of men,
And they were banished from their home of trees.
Now the path leading to the Tree of Life
Is hidden from the eyes of men,
And sorrow fills the empty sky
Where once the lofty branches soared.
Now into the burning desert
Come the Children of Light,
To, labor in the Garden of the Brotherhood.
The seed they plant in the barren soil
Will become a mighty forest,
And trees shall multiply
And spread their wings of green
Until the whole earth be covered once again.
The whole earth shall be a garden,
And the tall trees shall cover the land
In that day shall sing the Children of Light a new song:
My brother, Tree!
Let me not hide myself from thee,
But let us share the breath of life
Which our Earthly Mother hath given to us.
More beautiful than the finest jewel
Of the rugmaker’s art,
Is the carpet of green leaves under my bare feet.
More majestic than the silken canopy of the rich merchant,
Is the tent of branches above my head,
Through which the bright stars give light.
The wind among the leaves of the cypress
Maketh a sound like unto a chorus of angels.
Through the rugged oak and royal cedar
The Earthly Mother hath sent a message of Eternal Life
To the Heavenly Father.
My prayer goeth forth unto the tall trees:
And their branches reaching skyward
Shall carry my voice to the Heavenly Father.
For each child thou shalt plant a tree,
That the womb of thy Earthly Mother
Shall bring forth life,
As the womb of woman doth bring forth life.
He who doth destroy a tree
Hath cut off his own limbs.
Thus, shall sing the Children of Light,
When the earth again shall be a garden:
Holy Tree, divine gift of the Law!
Thy majesty reunites all those
Who have strayed from their true home,
Which is the Garden of the Brotherhood.
All men will become brothers once again
Under thy spreading branches.
As the Heavenly Father hath loved all his children,
So shall we love and care for the trees
That grow in our land,
So shall we keep and protect them,
That they may grow tall and strong,
And fill the earth again with their beauty.
For the trees are our brothers,
And as brothers,
We shall guard and love one another.