Redwood: The Gentle Giants

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I have a thing for green, especially after living in the New Mexico desert for about five years and counting now. I really miss and crave green. So when I am blessed to set my sights upon the green of the west coast, I go crazy. In late March, we went to San Francisco and of one of the places I had planned for us to see were the Redwood trees. Muir Woods became a destination, and I even checked out some books on it to read with Zd, just so that when we visit Muir Woods, it would be more meaningful for him.

Little did I realize that it was meaningful for me too. Subhanallah…we hiked the paved and well-maintained trail without having to worry about the California poison ivy because the park policy required us to stay on the paved trail. These Redwood trees are subhanallah…one of Allah’s marvelous creations. Really.

Imagine planting a tree in Jannah for every subhanallah we utter. If a tree on this earth can be so magnificent as these, bringing in an influx of visitors from all over the world to witness, then how much more amazing are the trees in Jannah! These trees grow to towering heights, and their branches don’t even shoot out until after a certain height, so if you gaze up at one of these trees, you have to really look up to see the branches. No way you’re going to climb one of these giants by swinging your agile legs over a humble branch! You’d need ropes and anchors!

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These trees emphasize how small we truly are. How lowly we really are. And how powerless we really are. There was a an ‘elderly’ that fell and eventually blocked part of the trail. The sign said that when it fell, they could hear it 30 miles away. The hike was relatively easy, if you stick to the bridges sections. If you veer off to the right or left, you start to enter ‘real’ hike territories, and one of them leads to Mount Tamalpais. We had veered off to the right on the Ocean View Trail, and had ascended up the trail quite a bit, before I remembered looking at the trail map that said this trail might take 4 hours.

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Despite Hz wanting to stay on this trail, we turned back, because we didn’t have that amount of time to spend on the trail. We did however, go on another trail, the Hillside Trail, which also ascended up quite a bit and provided a wondrous view from the edge of the higher elevations. The trail here was no longer asphalted, but have tree roots as ‘speed bumps’, and I began to realize that I had forgotten to bring my hiking sneakers on this trip. My feet were screaming in agony with all the walking over tree roots and stones, but the view was worth the pain.

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Baby Redwoods growing off the branches, subhanallah!

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Those bumpy formations are called burls. The tree’s bark has a thick protective layer against insect infestations and even forest fires. Burls are to-be branches that never came to be.


The creek running through the forest was so quiet and peaceful. Imagine the rivers in Jannah. Is this a meager glimpse of the unimaginable destination Allah wants us to end up in? I think so.As I was looking and describing these sorrells below, I am reminded of the giant umbrellas in the courtyard of Masjid An Nabawi in Madinah. These sorrells will close upwards when too much sunlight hits the forest floor and I can imagine the fluid movement of these heart shaped leaves being just like the graceful closing of the umbrellas in the masjid, that is an event to capture on video.


These are sorrels, and they actually thrive in low sunlight. If there is too much sunlight penetrating through the forest canopy, these heart-shaped leaf plants will close up like the giant umbrellas in Masjid Nabawi. When there is low sunlight, they will open up like here.

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This is the view as we ascended the Hillside Trail which hugs the hills and mountain side with a sheer drop below.

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After being in this forest, I will never look at any other forest the same way again. Subhanallah…


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