When We Visited #Redwoods…

Young Redwood trees
Young Redwoods

I had heard about the giant Redwoods but always thought that they must be just another kind of trees till I saw them! I was stunned at the feelings they could evoke. The first thought that came to my mind and kept reverberating all the time: “Seeing is believing.”

The moment I entered Redwoods Park, a strange exhilaration overpowered me. To add to my excitement was another nature lover, my daughter who had flown from east coast to spend a few days with us and was elated to accompany us. We chose to stay at Emerald Cabins, which are nestled right in the center of redwoods and the distance to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is just 24.5 miles.

Cabins in the midst of sequoias
Emerald Cabins

While driving toward Trinidad on Freeway 101, we stopped at Garberville for a quick snack and discovered the first delight of the day! Though I had done enough research online to keep in mind what to see, I didn’t come across this “Grandfather tree,” said to be “world famous” as it is 1800 years old. Its height is 265 feet and diameter is 24 feet.

World famous Grandfather Tree
Grandfather Tree

I won’t be able to describe the delight of watching these trees…seeing is believing, I kept repeating as I walked through the Redwoods. They are not like any other trees, they touch your heart. Surprisingly, They do!

I was mesmerised by their beauty. They can entrance you beyond imagination! As I stood in the midst of those trees, deep in the woods, an entirely different world encompassed me and slowly I  seemed to merge into the environment. I felt time didn’t matter here!

While I stood and watched, trying to figure our my escalating emotions, my husband walked ahead and my research-minded daughter stood by each tree, spending umpteen moments, touching the soft bark, hugging the trunk, looking at the patterns as if she would like to talk to them. Then she would enter the fire damaged trunks though I cautioned there could be an animal inside. She even paid attention to every little flower growing in the vicinity.

Fire damaged tree
Fire damaged tree

Pictures or videos can never do any justice to what they look like and the vibes they emit. Their ironic beauty reveals how the vagaries of nature or fire could never wipe them out from the face of this earth. Some of them are thousands of years old. They can sprout even from stumps or fire damaged trunks.

The phones go out of service as you enter the park and we had to depend on the maps provided by the visitor’s center. Our map showed 31 trails, most of them were marked ‘easy’ or ‘moderate.’ We didn’t even look at the strenuous ones and chose ‘Big Tree Wayside’ and ‘Foothill Trail’ on the first day and felt encouraged to pick up another moderate one of 4.3 miles on the second day. The trails are well-maintained and thankfully we didn’t meet any animals.

Drive through tree
“Shrine” Drive through tree

We also drove through the Avenue of Giants at Humboldt, a picturesque drive, which is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It led us to a ‘drive through tree,’ a unique experience. Be prepared to shell our $8 to drive through this tree though we didn’t pay any kind of entry fee anywhere to enter the state parks.

Balroop Singh.

Do you know?

    • Redwood forests are millions of years old.
    • Fossils show that the relatives of today’s coast Redwoods thrived in the Jurassic Era 160 million years ago.
    • More than 95% of the world’s old-grown redwoods are in California.
    • Only 4% of the world’s old-growth redwoods exist today. 96% of the original old-growth coast redwoods have been logged.
    • Redwoods get their common name from their bark, which is reddish brown in color.
    • They are self-resistant to fungal disease and insect infestation.
    • They can protect themselves from fire with their thick bark, which holds large quantities of water.
    • Giant sequoias can live to 3,000 years, with the oldest on record living more than 3,500 years.

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Summer Love

End of Summer

In awe I looked at you
And the shimmering dew
Bashful beauty allured green shade
In your welcome they all swayed

When you tiptoed in
To lend glow to our solitary town
Your sparkling light could make
Each moment of my day bright

You illuminated our hearts
Just with your brighter days
The leaves and branches colluded
To bow to you in gratitude

Coruscating lilies spoke to me
Roses beseeched my attention
Mute watchers warbled
Fluttering fervently around me

Fledglings are flying out now
Heralding the inevitable change
Birds breathe a message
Time has come to say goodbye

Fall trots in complacently
Knocking off supremacy of the Sun
Leaves sing new melodies
But I crave for your celestial light.
© Balroop Singh August, 2018

summer-1

 

‘Summer Love’ was inspired by KaylaAnn’s End of Summer Poetry Contest. You too can participate. Just click on the link to know more.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

You can click here for more poetry.

Balroop Singh

Redwoods Delight

 

Looking up at sequoia trees
Redwood National and State Park, Trinidad

 

Here I am on the tangible trail
Looking up in delight
Mesmerized by the height
Exhilarated by the light
Filtering through the circular canopies.
Lost in the moment.

Here I stand merging in the trees
Awed by their grandeur
Dazzled by their magnificence
Startled by the decay
New shoots sprouting from
Dead trees, testifying their latent power.

Mother Nature smiles sweetly
As I stand, intimidated and
Intoxicated by the fragrance of flora
Flourishing amid ironic beauty
Of fire damaged trunks
Standing tall to tell their seminal story.

Time – a mute spectator
Watches wistfully, losing its hold
Connection with the world seems insignificant
The haunting beauty lingers, returns in dreams
Transporting me to deeper and darker trails.
You can never have enough of this delight.
© Balroop Singh, August, 2018

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Balroop Singh

Don’t Dwell On It! Really?

We must ponder!

When people offend you
Take you for granted
Don’t respect your love
She says – don’t dwell on it!

When they discriminate
Treat you like dirt
Walk all over you
She says – don’t dwell on it!

When they belittle you
Mock at your kindness
Hurt your self-esteem
She says – don’t dwell on it!

When Sun chooses windows
Leaving you in darkness
Depriving you of your right
Would you say – don’t dwell on it?

When Spring selects the privileged
And flowers don’t smile at all of us
If butterflies visit only the best
Would you say – don’t dwell on it?

If people had not dwelled
On atrocities heaped upon them
If they had not risen against
Discrimination and prejudices

If nobody had dwelled on
Equal rights for women
We would still be living in dark ages
Repeating the refrain – ‘don’t dwell on it!’

Either she is too wise
Or I am imprudent
Either way, I refuse to be dictated.
Sensitivities need to be respected.
© Balroop Singh, July, 2018.

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Balroop Singh

Do You Struggle With Self-esteem? 5 Ways To Bounce Back

How to enhance self-esteem

People around me could never hurt my self-esteem, not because I was never in such a situation but because I never let them! Even as a child when I was asked to apologize for no fault of mine, to please somebody’s ego, I refused. I knew I would be punished but I didn’t care!

My mirror has never told me that I am not the best or I can’t excel. I always knew I am much better than many.

Criticism of others affects me in a positive manner. I try to introspect and dismiss the judgment of others as their opinion. I try to work on my imperfections in such a manner that enhances my self-esteem.

What lowers self-esteem?

  • Negative home environment
  • Broken families
  • Bullying
  • Insensitive friends
  • Shaming by a parent or a teacher
  • Self-blaming
  • Intimidating or controlling partner
  • Demanding boss
  • Dwelling on your weaknesses

Self-esteem is not given; it is earned; it is cultivated and it is snatched when others try to smash it.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” Michael J. Fox

I have faced the worst of criticism and ridicule for being too thin and tall, for failing in Math, for writing beautifully and neatly but not completing a given test within the specified time, for keeping aloof and being arrogant. The list is very lengthy but the reality is that my self-esteem could never get shattered with the insensitivity around me because I knew those were hollow observations of jealous people. I always knew I am enough!

What can help?

Positivity: Read positive quotes, think positive thoughts, spend more time in the company of positive-minded people. Walk away from those who don’t respect your opinion. Try to understand that there is no age for personality enhancement and your growth and development is an ongoing process. Have faith in yourself and your capabilities. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or colleagues. Stop blaming yourself just because others try to shift their responsibilites.

Face your fears: If you let your fears hibernate, if you don’t discuss them even with yourself, they could shrink your heart, wound your spirit and keep consuming the remnants of your mettle to fight them. Let those alligators out of your mind. Discuss them with a confidant or a therapist. Learn to accept the fear of failure because only when we fail do we rise with renewed zeal and energy.

Forgive yourself: Forgiveness is that virtue, which sets us free and acquaints us with the finest emotions. It unshackles the chains of guilt that we weave around us. It soothes our mind. We can emerge out of those dark corridors of fears and insecurities that people around us pushed into. We can see ourselves in a new light. Self-forgiveness, even if we may be guilty of hurting others, is of utmost importance to build our self-esteem.Self-esteem quote

Quit self-criticism: Self-judgment is more detrimental than the nasty remarks of others. It makes us doubt our own intentions, it ruins our confidence, it pulls us back into the dumps of depression and lowers our self-esteem. Self-reflection is good as far as it encourages us to work on our weaknesses. It is better to train your mind to think positive, to remember that those who attack our self-esteem are actually dealing with their own insecurities.

Take pride in pursuing activities you love: Invest in yourself. Search within. Spend time with yourself and indulge in those activities that you enjoy. Stop pleasing people around you. Be proud of yourself and your little accomplishments. Self-love is not being selfish, it is being kind to yourself. Don’t allow anybody to disrespect what you like to do. Count your strengths and your blessings. Be yourself. The best freedom is being you.

Always remember – ‘the more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.’

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” Brigham Young
Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.