Mankind is supposed to have evolved in the treetops. But I have examined my sense of balance, the prehensility of my various appendages, and my attitude toward standing on anything higherthan, say, political principles, and I have concluded that, personally, I evolved in the backseat of a car.
P. J. O'Rourke
Kolya threw his shoes under the bed and went to the window. There was a full moon, light green and ugly, in the sky. It seemed to be hiding behind the treetops, spying. Its light was soft and lifeless, and its rays were tremulous and mesmerizing, as they penetrated through the branches...
Every step of the road was just as she'd dreamt it all the time she'd been away. Every step took her further away from the smoke and the noise and the loneliness and fear of the city she'd left behind. Every step drew her deeper into the hollows of the landscape, the green hills and shining rivers and mist-tangled treetops.
After that there was silence for a while, only the sound of the shovel biting into the earth and the hissing splatter of the loose dirt. They stood him up, his back to the well. In the dark, desperate sky, just above the scalloped line the treetops made, three stars formed a pleading little constellation. No one looked at them, no one cared. This was the time for death, not the time for mercy. ("The Number's Up")
The faint pink coating the treetops promised rippling buds, a sure sign of spring hastening in, right on schedule, and the animal world getting ready for its fiesta of courting and mating, dueling and dancing, suckling and grubbing, costume-making and shedding-in short, the fuzzy, fizzy hoopla of life's ramshackle return.
The wind was against them now, and Piglet's ears streamed behind him like banners as he fought his way along, and it seemed hours before he got them into the shelter of the Hundred Acre Wood and they stood up straight again, to listen, a little nervously, to the roaring of the gale among the treetops. 'Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't, ' said Pooh after careful thought.
I wish to you sunshine, my dear one, my dear one. And treetops for you to soar past. I wish to you innocence, my child, my child. I pray you don't grow up too fast. Never know pain, my dear one, my dear one. Nor hunger nor fear nor sorrow. Never know war, my child, my child. Remember your hope for tomorrow.
There was still a bit of sunshine in the sky, not that it mattered. High treetops and reaching branches entombed us from above in a dark coffin. It was still in the afternoon. We had time to gather things together for camp, but the choked rays that permeated the living casket were sputtering their last bits of life. - Tyrus Savage narration from ORRLETH, Volume One of the Orrleth Young Adult Fantasy Paranormal Series
And she arose from her deathbed in a gossamer gown, with eyes the color of starlight and hair as black as the night. And those who were her captors trembled, for the scent of death and madness emanated from her soul, and yet she was not dead. She moved like the spiders that creep in the treetops, and none could look away. Taking her first captor in hand, she fed deep and ravenous. And so it was that Myst, Queen of the Indigo Court, was born from the blood of the dead.
Elephants, it turns out, are surprisingly stealthy. As the sunlight fades, other species declare their presence. Throngs of zebras and wildebeests thunder by in the distance, trailing dust clouds. Cape buffalo snort and raise their horns and position themselves in front of their young. Giraffes stare over treetops, their huge brown eyes blinking, then lope away in seeming slow motion. But no elephants.
As I sit, my back leaning against a damp, moss-covered tree trunk, my eyes sweeping the canopy above, my ears straining to catch the crack of a distant branch that betrays an orangutan moving in the treetops, I think about how we humans search for God. The tropical rain forest is the most complex thing an ordinary human can experience on this planet. A walk in the rain forest is a walk into the mind of God.
Birute M.F. Galdikas
There are times in history when the dark drums of God can barely be heard amid the noises of this world. Then it is only in moments of silence, which are rare and brief, that their beat can be faintly discerned. There are other times. These are the times when God is heard in rolling thunder, when the earth trembles and the treetops bend under the force of [God's] voice. It is not given to men [and women] to make God speak. It is only given to them to live and to think in such a way that, if God's thunder should come, they will not have stopped their ears.
Peter L. Berger
Sometimes, very rarely, life endows you with a moment of sheer flawlessness when everything is just like it is supposed to be - the smell of the air, the softness of the light, the sound of birds perching in the treetops, and someone's smiling eyes. You don't even try to make that moment last longer, you just exist inside its depths, while everything outside becomes invisible. Then something cracks almost inaudibly; a sunbeam starts to shine a little brighter, or a dust particle changes direction, and it's over. You can feel the pulse of the outside world again. And you don't want to go back inside. You just feel grateful.
It was still late summer elsewhere, but here, high in Appalachia, fall was coming; for the last three mornings, she'd been able to see her breath. The woods, which started twenty feet back from her backdoor like a solid wall, showed only hints of the impending autumn. A few leaves near the treetops had turned, but most were full and green. Visible in the distance, the Widow's Tree towered above the forest. Its leaves were the most stubborn, tenaciously holding on sometimes until spring if the winter was mild. It was a transitional period, when the world changed its cycle and opened a window during which people might also change, if they had the inclination.
She said, "Daddy thinks that all the world's magic is almost evolved out." I thought of Roebuck Lake, its swamps and sloughs and loblollies and breaks of cypress and cane, its sunken treetops and stobs and bream beds and sleepy gar rolling over and over and over, its baptizing pools and bridges and mussels and mosquitoes and turkey vultures and, now in the drought, the gray flaking mud-flats and logs crowded with turtles and sometimes a fat snake yawning its tame old cottony mouth like a well-fed dog in a pen. I said, "Is that what the freak show is?" She said, "Dirty miracles.
Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. There was science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the color of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot was surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. He brushed treetops with the birds, leapt valleys and rivers, explored the cloud canyons he had gazed at as a child. Adventure lay in each puff of wind.
Between the dark, heavily laden treetops of the spreading chestnut trees could be seen the dark blue of the sky, full of stars, all solemn and golden, which extended their radiance unconcernedly into the distance. That was the nature of the stars. and the trees bore their buds and blossoms and scars for everyone to see, and whether it signified pleasure or pain, they accepted the strong will to live. flies that lived only for a day swarmed toward their death. every life had its radiance and beauty. i had insight into it all for a moment, understood it and found it good, and also found my life and sorrows good.
Trees are like people and give the answers to the way of Man. They grow from the top down. Children, like treetops, have flexibility of youth, and sway more than larger adults at the bottom. They are more vulnerable to the elements, and are put to the test of survival by life's strong winds, rain, freezing cold, and hot sun. Constantly challenged. As they mature, they journey down the tree, strengthening the family unit until one day they have become big hefty branches. In the stillness below, having weathered the seasons, they now relax in their old age, no longer subject to the stress from above. It's always warmer and more enclosed at the base of the tree. The members remain protected and strong as they bear the weight and give support to the entire tree. They have the endurance.
Unicorns are immortal. It is their nature to live alone in one place: usually a forest where there is a pool clear enough for them to see themselves-for they are a little vain, knowing themselves to be the most beautiful creatures in all the world, and magic besides. They mate very rarely, and no place is more enchanted than one where a unicorn has been born. The last time she had seen another unicorn the young virgins who still came seeking her now and then had called to her in a different tongue; but then, she had no idea of months and years and centuries, or even of seasons. It was always spring in her forest, because she lived there, and she wandered all day among the great beech trees, keeping watch over the animals that lived in the ground and under bushes, in nests and caves, earths and treetops. Generation after generation, wolves and rabbits alike, they hunted and loved and had children and died, and as the unicorn did none of these things, she never grew tired of watching them.
Peter S. Beagle
Sophie raised her head. Light filtering through the trees dappled her face. 'Hawk.' Charlotte looked up as well. A bird of prey soared above the treetops, circling around them. 'It's dead, ' Sophie said. 'George is guiding it. He is very powerful.'The realization washed over Charlotte in a cold gush of embarrassment. 'Is George spying on Richard and me?' 'Always, ' Sophie said. 'All those perfect manners are a sham. He spies on everyone and everything. Declan hasn't been able to conduct a single business meeting in the past year without George's knowing all the details. He does let go when you make love. He is a prude.' ''Prude' is a coarse word. He has a sense of tact, ' Charlotte corrected before she caught herself. 'A sense of tact, ' Sophie repeated, tasting the words. 'Thank you. The other one is somewhere around here, too.' 'The other one?' Sophie surveyed the woods. 'I can smell you, Jack!' 'No, you can't, ' a distant voice answered
Words - take her with you let her rest in your rhymes Words - take her away somewhere beyond time Words - ease her breathing lay her softly on the floor there - let her linger and listen like ever before Leave her windows uncovered at night and fill her room with the citylights as they illuminate the sky it reminds her of the people outside cause she won't sleep unless she heals her loneliness Walk with her beneath the treetops create new paths and memories show her how the sunlight glances through the gaps between the leaves Words - help her change the world in only one verse tell her to reach for the stars and to always put love first Leave her windows uncovered at night and fill her rooms with the citylights as they illuminate the sky it reminds her of the people outside it reminds her of the people it reminds her of the people it reminds her of the people outside.
When I sit up I am greeted by the world. Level with the treetops I look down on sparrows swooping in and out of the branches. The tide, the new rising moon, the clouds, the wind - these greet me. These are my allies. The whole planet is laid out before me and available for whatever adventure the day will take me on. By comparison, living in society seems to require an alarm clock. Primarily assembled from angst and fish anuses, these contraptions, regardless of your soul's whereabouts, will slap and assault you into a pitiful state of what passes for consciousness. Your first sight is the Time, an arragement of molecules on the clock's face to whom you will be enslaved for the rest of the day. You may as well call him "master." Next, a pile of dirty clothes on the floor, a knocked-over glass of water, and so forth, until you are so overwhelmed with despair that to prevent hurling yourself through the window, you must ignore your personal bill of rights, put on an acceptable frown, and go about your business, disregarding the pleas from you increasingly timid soul.
We ate the birds. We ate them. We wanted their songs to flow up through our throats and burst out of our mouths, and so we ate them. We wanted their feathers to bud from our flesh. We wanted their wings, we wanted to fly as they did, soar freely among the treetops and the clouds, and so we ate them. We speared them, we clubbed them, we tangled their feet in glue, we netted them, we spitted them, we threw them onto hot coals, and all for love, because we loved them. We wanted to be one with them. We wanted to hatch out of clean, smooth, beautiful eggs, as they did, back when we were young and agile and innocent of cause and effect, we did not want the mess of being born, and so we crammed the birds into our gullets, feathers and all, but it was no use, we couldn't sing, not effortlessly as they do, we can't fly, not without smoke and metal, and as for the eggs we don't stand a chance. We're mired in gravity, we're earthbound. We're ankle-deep in blood, and all because we ate the birds, we ate them a long time ago, when we still had the power to say no.
One night he sits up. In cots around him are a few dozen sick or wounded. A warm September wind pours across the countryside and sets the walls of the tent rippling. Werner's head swivels lightly on his neck. The wind is strong and gusting stronger, and the corners of the tent strain against their guy ropes, and where the flaps at the two ends come up, he can see trees buck and sway. Everything rustles. Werner zips his old notebook and the little house into his duffel and the man beside him murmurs questions to himself and the rest of the ruined company sleeps. Even Werner's thirst has faded. He feels only the raw, impassive surge of the moonlight as it strikes the tent above him and scatters. Out there, through the open flaps of the tent, clouds hurtle above treetops. Toward Germany, toward home. Silver and blue, blue and silver. Sheets of paper tumble down the rows of cots, and in Werner's chest comes a quickening. He sees Frau Elena kneel beside the coal stove and bank up the fire. Children in their beds. Baby Jutta sleeps in her cradle. His father lights a lamp, steps into an elevator, and disappears. The voice of Volkheimer: What you could be. Werner's body seems to have gone weightless under his blanket, and beyond the flapping tent doors, the trees dance and the clouds keep up their huge billowing march, and he swings first one leg and then the other off the edge of the bed. 'Ernst, ' says the man beside him. 'Ernst.' But there is no Ernst; the men in the cots do not reply; the American soldier at the door of the tent sleeps. Werner walks past him into the grass. The wind moves through his undershirt. He is a kite, a balloon. Once, he and Jutta built a little sailboat from scraps of wood and carried it to the river. Jutta painted the vessel in ecstatic purples and greens, and she set it on the water with great formality. But the boat sagged as soon as the current got hold of it. It floated downstream, out of reach, and the flat black water swallowed it. Jutta blinked at Werner with wet eyes, pulling at the battered loops of yarn in her sweater. 'It's all right, ' he told her. 'Things hardly ever work on the first try. We'll make another, a better one.' Did they? He hopes they did. He seems to remember a little boat-a more seaworthy one-gliding down a river. It sailed around a bend and left them behind. Didn't it? The moonlight shines and billows; the broken clouds scud above the trees. Leaves fly everywhere. But the moonlight stays unmoved by the wind, passing through clouds, through air, in what seems to Werner like impossibly slow, imperturbable rays. They hang across the buckling grass. Why doesn't the wind move the light? Across the field, an American watches a boy leave the sick tent and move against the background of the trees. He sits up. He raises his hand. 'Stop, ' he calls. 'Halt, ' he calls. But Werner has crossed the edge of the field, where he steps on a trigger land mine set there by his own army three months before, and disappears in a fountain of earth.