The poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, Rise Up Rooted Like Trees, touched me in a similar way than I feel touched every time I look at this incredible tree photo by Marcus Maria Jung. Seeing the two side by side makes my heart sing the TreeBleibe chant.
How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.
each stone, blossom, child—
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we each belong to
for some empty freedom.
If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God’s heart;
they have never left.
This is what the things can teach us:
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.
—Rainer Maria Rilke