Yes, These are Redwoods and They are Magnificent!

Redwood Abstract

Redwood Abstract © 2013 Bo Mackison

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
~ John Steinbeck in Travels with Charley – In Search of America

Look at these trees.

Coastal redwoods stretching three hundred feet towards the clouds. Examine the details. Can you separate the grooved bark from the whispers of sequoia needles? Can you see your way to the sky? Can you hear their silence, your heart beating as you imagine standing in the red earth of ancient redwoods, peering at this generation of trees?

We hike the Cathedral Trail in Redwoods National Park.

Aptly named. Standing under the these giants, dwarfed and insignificant, this is more of a cathedral than any humanly constructed cathedral ever entered.

I creep into this time vacuum, standing with my palms pressed tightly against a tree’s bark.

I feel the heartbeat of the earth. Standing in redwood earth, crumbled mother tree from ancient days, her offspring encircle me. Nine trees in a ring, I stand and peer through leafy air, see only a suggestion of blue beyond treetops.

In rare sunlight, a potpourri of dust motes swirl about our faces. We are in the presence of the ancients, in a world we barely recognize. Silent soliloquy, the trees speak.

 In August, I stood in the redwood groves of the coastal California.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Redwoods and Steinbeck – much more American than those two you couldn’t get. Brilliant combination.

  2. Beautiful

  3. I’ve not been in the presence of The Great Trees. Standing among these ancient spirits must bring about a similar feeling as when one sees the Grand Canyon for the first time. For me, that feeling was an almost indescribable subsonic boom more felt than heard, bringing about a tingling, humbling sensation. Your description of this experience gives me chills. Wow.

  4. Stunning is all I can say. I can only hope one day this nature-made cathedral will be a possibility for me.

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