You will have to trust me on this: Thinking about reading to a tree feels stranger than actually reading to a tree, especially once you get going. The other day I walked to the wooded park near my home with a particular aspen in mind and a book in my pocket. What does one read to an aspen? Though I am sure there are many possibilities, the answer on this day for this tree was obvious. Keats.
If you read aloud to a tree, you will find yourself in the company of an uncommonly attentive, responsive, possibly even grateful listener. And is the tree’s response (a singular stillness, a branching rustle, the dropping of golden leaves after a particular line, Thou art a dreaming thing, A fever of thyself…as if to whisper, Yes, yes…) real or imagined? I know how I would reply to this question, but I am not at all certain that it matters. We are always, and everywhere, part of a great conversation.
(Thanks to Flickr user rickhanger.)