I made it to a redwood forest! (This snapshot is a panorama—the only way I could capture an image of the bases and tops with my phone, hence the warped trunks.) I’ve always wanted to walk among the majestic trees, probably because of the lyrics of This Land is Your Land ringing through my mind since I was young. I’ve now seen all the geographic features Woody Guthrie wrote about.

On our recent road trip, Fred and I drove through the Navarro River Redwoods State Park north of San Francisco. We’ve driven along many a tree-lined highway over the years, but never one with such towering giants!

We stopped in the midst of the forest for me to create some installations. I’m not sure how the photos of them will come out—the majesty of the trees made anything I did seem trite at the time. I often experience a feeling of incompetence and inferiority when working in landscapes characterized as grand and beautiful. These spaces engulf my senses and often paralyze my creative vision.

I am so thankful to be able to visit many parts of this land we Americans live on, and am thankful that we have lands that are open for all of us. Experiencing the grandeur of nature helps me keep perspective and remember that I am but a microscopic blip in the universe. It’s not all about me.

It’s about us. We the people, in all of our differences, inhabit our land. What I think is best for me, may not be best for others. I witnessed a variety of plant species thriving in the redwood forest we visited, existing together in community, giving and taking for all to live well.

We the people would be wise to heed lessons from the land.