As a child I was fascinated by tales of giant Redwoods and a Coulter pine cone my paternal grandmother brought home from a visit to California. I couldn't fathom the size of a tree which could produce something that big, or a tree so large a road was built so that you could drive your car through it. Many years later I went to San Francisco on a business trip and visited Muir Woods for the first time. Walking among the coastal redwoods I was awed by their timelessness, majesty and beauty. Redwoods have very shallow root systems, 6-12 feet deep, and no tap root. The roots of one tree can spread out up to 100 feet from the base and intertwine with the roots of neighboring redwoods. By growing together, their intermingled root systems help each other to survive and stay upright for millenia. The redwoods of Muir Woods make up the only old growth coastal redwood forest left in the Bay Area. More about these wonderful beings can be found here.
When I think of redwoods I think of resilience, stillness, true equanimity and joy in simply being alive. I've visited redwoods in other parts of California, but the trees in Muir Woods have a different quality. A few years ago, I was privileged to spend a rainy morning inside a Redwood. The photo on our home page was taken that day. It was a transformative moment. On the way out of the park, we stopped at Muir Beach. A turkey vulture hovered over the waves as I walked along the beach. Turkey vultures are very powerful totems in Native American lore, teaching us to use the energy of the earth powerfully and efficiently. Many civilizations have connected the vulture to the Great Mother. Vultures do not kill; they cleanse the environment by eating decaying carrion. Their keen sense of smell is linked to aromatherapy. So much in my life has grown out of that time spent among the trees of Muir Woods and along its beach, including the inspiration for Green Aromatics. I hope that our work will help you experience some of the resilience, joy and equanimity of the redwood.