Spiritual Beech Trees of Catalonia, 2018
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” (Martin Buber)
Such it was for me. After the tram ride though long-dead, eroded volcanoes we had lunch then showed up again at Lava Parc for our next adventure – a carriage ride to see the beech forest. I kept asking Xavi “are we there yet?” “are we there yet?” and he patiently said “…..you’ll know when we’re there.”
And I did. The carriage lunged up a hill and slowed down in a sea of green – the beech forest. We all grew silent and the guide told us this grove of trees exists because of a particular soil mixture that occurred due to the volcanoes. And, these trees only grow here, in the heart of Catalonia, and in Iceland.
We slowly clambered out of the carriage, which left us to hide behind a curve in the road. Our chance to experience this place without intrusion. As we fanned out I left the group and went into the forest. Touching a larger beech tree I began suddenly to weep. Tears flowed from emotions deep, deep within me, and would not stop. I wanted nothing more than to lay here in this forest and sob. Most of my photos are blurred from emotion. My reaction was not unnoticed by Xavi who, when it was time, came to help me out of the forest. Tears blurred my vision. My family, who know me well, gave me lots of hugs and we left the forest behind. I am weeping while telling the tale. This was an unexpected experience, a surprise reaction, a truly rare moment that I’ll never forget.