I recently traveled to Washington, D.C. There seemed to be 10,000 people everywhere I looked — traffic jams, crowded subways, city noise, organized chaos. More than 1 million people are crammed into the D.C. area — the same population as the whole state of Maine.

How refreshing it was to come home to Maine, “the way life should be.” Early on a recent cool Sunday morning, I went for a long walk along a road less traveled. For a half-hour I didn’t hear even one car or see one other person. All I saw were 10,000 trees — a pleasant blend of evergreen and birch, with an occasional oak and maple. All I heard were the soothing sounds of nature. The gentle rustling of leaves seemed to me like the trees singing songs of praise for their Creator.

As I contemplated where the breeze blew, it occurred to me that the trees pay no attention to the political winds of the day. The trees and all of nature listen only to the voice of their Creator.

Trees strive ever upward, reaching for the light, thereby achieving their highest potential. Trees are both strong and flexible, able to sway gracefully in the breeze and to survive even fierce winds. Are there lessons we could learn from the trees?

Being back home now, I doubly appreciate Maine … the way life should be.

Eric Stout


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