Camara on trees

Trees have been a recurring theme of my novitiate. Perhaps that is why this prayer/poem jumped out at me today in a book I was reading by Dom Helder Camara. The book is called "Sister Earth" and the prayer/poem is called "Trees, Sister Trees." Enjoy!
Ah, trees,
Do you live in peace,
In harmony,
Despite the differences
Between you
Which to the human eye
Seem so immense?
How do you feel,
You towering palms,
You massive oaks,
You giant baobabs,
As you stare down upon
A tiny bush?
Are the fruit bearers,
Apple, mango and coconut,
Tempted to mock
Those who have simply
Leaves and thorns?

Do you welcome
The birds' nests
And children who swing
From your branches?
What is it like
When the leaves fall
And your branches are draped
In snow?
Does Spring give a hint
Of the thought of resurrection?
And what is it like when
Drought wounds the land
And you trees seem to raise
Up your arms
In silent prayer
To our Lord and Father?

What do you feel
At the plucking of your fruits?
Is the stoning
The worst part?
And what is your pain
When your branches are pruned,
Or when a tree entire
Goes to the timber yard
To be cut
Into house or bridges or chairs or beds?
Do you understand the purpose
Of a bridge
And the vivid symbol it is?
Do you realize the importance in
The building of a home?

Chairs and beds
Call to mind rest
And make us think
Of the family:
But what does it mean to you?

When lightening strikes a tree,
Is it true that the tree
Prefers itself to be struck
Than to see a person or house

Remember, sister Tree,
That the Son of God
In order to reconcile us
With our Father and his,
Bore a heavy cross.
Three times he fell
Under that burden,
And wanted to die
Nailed to the cross
In order to save us.

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