The redwood groves are the places where the grown-ups go to become children again. To recapture the sense of awe and of wonder and of sheer fundamental *faith* that gets eroded by the twisted and cynical real world on a daily basis. There was a poem etched into a display board near one of the big trees - and although it seemed more intent, as and of itself, to make sure things rhymed properly than to achieve a sense of real poetical vision, I can't take issue with the sentiments. The final two lines go something like this: "So, traveller, sink upon your knees/ God stands before you in these trees."
I know, speaking for myself, that I walked into the presence of the great redwoods with humility and astonished delight. Another theory that rdeck advanced was that the sheer size differential might also play a part in the regression to childhood purity of emotion, in the sense of the Bee Gees lyrics ("When I was small... and Christmas trees were tall...") You DO feel young, and awed, and deferential. You can't help it, not when you're standing underneath something whose tip is scratching the sky and is utterly beyond your power to actually resolve with your physical eyes, not when your hand is laid, tiny and almost insignificant, on the skin of a creature which had been standing there for a thousand years before you were born. These are the ancients, revere them.
All I know is that there were times in these past couple of weeks when I was a child all over again, renewed and refreshed and confirmed in my innocence while being filled to the brim with a sense of gentle power, and heartbreaking beauty, and slow beneficent wisdom.
I came home with more than four hundred photos - but the more enduring kind will always be the ones that I took with my heart, and keep close in my memories.