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“I must learn to be as the bear in a cage with the stick that pokes it always, through the bars. The bear acts as if the stick is made of air, and takes no notice of it, even when it is sharpened and draws blood. I must do the same.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“I remember the fire, it burns bright, always around me. I close my eyes, and tears stream out. The tides of the past seize me, bear me out to sea.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“Trees do not require you to make certain sounds to be understood. They are simply present and ready for you to climb at any time. Trees are easier.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“Every night, I slip into the empty winter land of memory.”
Ned Hayes
“April comes to us, with her showers sweet. I wake to the cries of little birds before the light comes across the heath. They wait all night with open eyes. Now, with the rain at dawn, their voices make melody.
I turn back the reveled cloth of gold on my bed and walk to gaze beyond my glazed casement window. In the plaintive voices of the wood fowl, I imagine my mother calling to me, her words echoing across the years.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“I am a tree in the forest, moving very slowly, only barely touched by the wind. Everyone else just moves past me, and I watch them go, because I cannot be moved from who I am.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“I reached down to feel the soil, and I touched the outreaching roots of the trees that bore horizontally and vertically hundreds of feet through the forest. I stroked the earth with my palm, and I could almost feel that invisible network of capillary roots that sucks moisture and nutrients out of every inch of the soil I was standing on. I breathed in and out. I was part of the forest. I was alive.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“The good, the bad, the virgin, and the harlot: no one is spared, all go rose-spattered with plague lesions. I see no sense, no judgment before doom strikes. Death takes us all with the black malady or the sweating sickness, or the white blindness or the winter croup, or the crops failing or bitter water in our mouths.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“Time moves on, and with it all flesh.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“I do not like this idea that we have begun to kill off—at great velocity and accelerating speed—all of the things that sustain us. I didn’t like it at all when I first thought of it, but most people around me do not seem that disturbed by it, even though the knowledge of this is obvious and readily available to anyone who looks up trees on the Internet. At least, no one seems bothered, because no one has taken action to amend it. So they must not care. That is the only explanation I can think of for the lack of reaction to this fact.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
tags: trees
“Speech does not always unravel matters. Words can betray you, their labyrinthine threads tangled in knots, for we were cursed at that great tower of Babel, to speak always in riddles and never yet to comprehend.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“Rooks have clustered on either side of the long road. It is as if they line a grand parade route for our passage. Their black feathers are stark as soot against the white road and the snow. They stab at the ground with their strange bare bills and gray unfeathered faces. The birds are like rough-edged black stones on a string around this stripped cold neck of road. The old books tell us rooks bring the virtuous dead to heaven’s gate.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“In the end, I listen to my fear. It keeps me awake, resounding through the frantic beating in my breast. It is there in the dry terror in my throat, in the pricking of the rats’ nervous feet in the darkness. Christian has not come home all the night long. I know, for I have lain in this darkness for hours now with my eyes stretched wide, yearning for my son’s return.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“I am especially interested in shadows and light that are changed by branches or leaves. So that is mostly what I watch when I am up in the trees. I watch the shadows, I watch the lights, and I watch the leaves move in the wind. On”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“The people protesting to save these woods are right—these trees are almost untouched.” His voice was different somehow. It was exactly the sound in his voice that I heard at the funeral of my great-uncle.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“Many people think trees grow so big from soil and water, but this is not true. Trees get their mass from the air. They gobble up airborne carbon dioxide and perform an act of chemical fission by using the energy from sunshine... Essentially, trees are made of air and sunshine.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“Any story is an ocean whose tide begins in a place I can't know, and my life is but a moment in that flood, my part in it only a mote in the flow.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“The wheel of Fortune turns one way and another, taking us to the heights or the depths. That is the great wheel on which we all turn, tied to destinies that move up or down at the whim of God above.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“Every moment with your child is precious, no matter how long they live, no matter the number of their days.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“It was very damp and misty–which some people from outside the Pacific Northwest consider to be rain, but I do not. This is typical weather for the Pacific Northwest and Olympia. It is often wet in Olympia, but we have an average of only 49.95 inches a year of actual precipitation. That’s less than in Denver. In Olympia, the air is damp, and water collects and drips from everywhere. We do not get big downpours, but we get damp and spongy.

I don’t care. It helps the trees grow, and I climb the trees.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“We are but a tattered remnant, a small and bastard race who linger on the shoulders of that giant race, a memory that is always our better. We look backward always, scratching in the ruins, reclaiming scraps from their vast and long-abandoned table of knowledge. For we are misshapen offspring, stunted in our ways and our minds, reaching blindly after the treasures of knowledge lost to time.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“It is a kingship grand that all of us build, every day of our meager lives, and it is a castle made of sand. Every wrong righted seems to bring another misdeed tumbling down upon our heads. But I for one will keep building such a kingdom.”
Ned Hayes, Sinful Folk
“We are part of a system that includes trees. Without trees, we will eventually all”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
tags: trees
“I do not like the orangeness; it erases every tree, every branch, every leaf.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“I saw the Eagle Tree for the first time on the third Monday of the month of March, which I guess could be considered auspicious if I believed in magic or superstition or religion...”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“I felt the bark of the trees on either side of me as I walked. It was very soothing. Here in the LBA Woods, the trees grew very close together and when I did not walk on the path, I would reach out with my fingertips and touch their bark as I passed. The skin of the trees was warm in the sunlight, and rough, and I imagined that each tree contained a soul. Like an Ent. I knew this idea was not a true thing, but still I felt good that the trees were here.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“My fingers are callused from gripping tree limbs, and my nails are short and grubby with bark. They are like the talons of a bird that lives only in trees.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“The light filtered through the trees, rays of sunlight splitting around the vast trunks, the branches above us fluttering in a faint wind, and the green needles of Douglas Firs shimmering silver underneath in the breeze.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“This tree was a vast cylinder of wood. It filled the sky. The limbs reached out above me, a great canopy sheltering the rest of the trees, as if they were its children.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
“My arms sometimes move on their own in big flapping motions, as if I might take off, and my hands spin like a hummingbird’s wings.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree

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