Cottonwoods can seem human—they seem to rejoice and they seem to suffer. But they also seem to know a stillness that we can[t experience.
The example of trees does suggest a harmony for which it seems right to dream. Lakota refer to the cottonwood as the dreaming tree, a place of visions.
Willa Cather wrote in the Song of the Lark, which is set on the Colorado plains, that cottonwoods are “wind-loving trees…whose roots are always seeking water and whose leaves are always talking about it, making the sound of rain.”
Edward Thomas: “Trees and us—imperfect friends.” Cottonwoods have been our friends for a long while. The Arapaho believed, for instance3, that the stars came from cottonwoods, from the glistening sap at the joints of the twigs. The Hidatsa believed that the shade from cottonwoods was healing. Everything about the tree, in fact, struck Native Americans as beneficent.