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              (Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future and time future contained in time past, neither flesh nor fleshless, ascent nor decline, and the darkness shall be the light and the stillness the dancing. T.S. Eliot)
Words are evermore and thus are those who say them. And we gather both the living and those who have gone beyond but are back with us today via the mystery and magic of language. 
It is the first of June, a day of welcoming sun, so let us enjoy a World Convocation in Communion with trees. It is with gratitude that I greet you lovers of trees this morning. We’ll have coffee and beignets at my table, and after everyone arrives, we’ll venture to Blakeley State Park in the heart of the Mobile Tensaw Delta and commune with the trees – the Jury Oak where Judge Harry Theophilus Toulmin sat holding court while sitting on a limb eight feet above the ground.  We’ll visit the “Hanging Tree” and the “Hiding Tree” and take a walk along the E.O. Wilson Parkway, commune with the trees and reverently speak their names.  

I’ve asked Ed Wilson to join us. He is our own celebrated myrmecologist. Thank you for your support of Blakeley State Park. 
Sue Walker

It is sanctuary of Nature and spirit. A thousand years ago, this sprawling habitat was very much the same as it is today. You know, a lifetime can be spent in a Magellanic voyage around the trunk of a single tree. Now when you cut a forest, an ancient forest, you are not just removing a lot of big trees and a few birds fluttering around in the canopy. You are drastically imperiling a vast array of species within a few square miles of you.
 Edward Osborne Wilson

Good morning to you, James Russell Lowell. Will you say again those wonderful lines from “What Is So Rare As A Day In June?” 
Sue Walker

Thank you. Happy to oblige. 
No matter how barren the past may have been,
'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green.
James Russell Lowell

And you’ve come all the way from Fife, Scotland Kathleen to join us. I thank you.
Sue Walker

The trees all around commune with each other. You can sense it, a knowingness between them. I affirm Deep Time, that sense of the long past being still with us, but I love the precise gestures of the morning sun. There is always a path through the wood; there has been since the dawn of time. The trees step aside to make one. And it’s good to see my Scottish friend here as well. Maiden Mhaith to you, Alexander McCall Smith, how beautiful, your Victorian Villa on a tree-lined street in the Merichiston area in Edinburgh must be now that spring has come. Hello everyone.
Kathleen Jamie

 And so I shall go and sit under a tree. It doesn’t matter which tree as long as it’s the right one.
Alexander McCall Smith

Isn’t every tree the right one on a given day? You can go and stand in the Hiding Tree if you like.  It is grand to have you join our Gathering this morning. I remember when you visited my husband and me in Mobile. When I went into the kitchen to make coffee in the morning, you were already up and writing. “Summer Is Icumen In.” I hear Cuckoo is singing. What do you say from the Timelessness of Being, Colin? 
Sue Walker 
Trees are good for contemplation. Plato and Aristotle did their best thinking in the groves of olives and figs around Athens. Buddha found enlightenment beneath a peepul tree of awareness and insight. 
 Colin Tudge
In the company of trees, we are able to think. Trees are beings. We feel that to be so. And like any dog, I lay there enjoying myself, harming no man, selling nothing, competing not at all, thinking no evil, smiled on by the sun, bent over by the trees, and softly folded in the arms of the earth.
John Steward Collis

Trees reveal startling secrets. They talk to one another, perceive, connect and relate with ancient intricacy and wisdom. They have shown me their perceptiveness and responsiveness. Fir trees use the fungal web to trade nutrients with paper-bark birch trees. 
Suzanne Simard

When I retired from teaching Kindergarten after 35 years, I had a special tree planted on our school playground and wrote a dedication in honor of the tree:
Trees spread their boughs
from up above
to shelter children 
with shade and love.
We must not forget how important it is to teach children about Nature, and especially trees.
Peggy Colo

Absolutely Peggy. I began publishing poetry for children as well as for adults, but this is the concluding stanza of a poem, entitled “Trees,” written for children that seems to follow after yours, Peggy:
And when a moon floats on the sky
Trees hum a drowsy lullaby
Of sleepy children long ago . . . 
Trees are the kindest things I know.
Harry Behn

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