Cathedral in the Trees

Autumn in Alaska

As a part of the Cathedral series that has emerged, here is a poem/reflection I wrote while working at a YMCA camp in Kalamazoo Michigan.  It was October and the trees had been slowly changing for weeks, but the warm summer days still greeted us each afternoon.  Until one morning…

It rained last night. At first a light tropical song played in my mind but as I woke a new slower song played.

The trees have been slowly changing their lush green leaves for vibrant technicolor hues of orange, yellow and red.  This morning the change in melody was initiated by the trunks of these trees.  The wet drops of rain had darkened the tree trunks  and moistened the summer bleached grey into a rich black.  This new contrast reminds me so clearly of black robed monks processing through a cathedral with magnificent stained glass windows, illuminated by a thousand candles. Their slow deep Latin chanting fills my ears as I slowly process through the tree’s aisles. when I gaze upwards the soft grey sky is punctuated by bursts of red and yellow topping the trees.


I still carry a leaf I found on that day.  Hopefully it reminds me that God is processing with me as I walk through the trees.  That the trees are God’s greatest cathedrals and some of the greatest reminders to slowly move with the rhythm of life.

Where are the natural cathedrals where you feel God processing slowly with you?