Kris August

Celebrating the Interconnectedness of Life

For the Love of Trees

On a visit to the Peace Pagoda in Leverett Massachusetts, I found this tree dedicated by Jake Swamp (Tree of Peace Society) in 1985. Among many contributions to peace and conservation, Jake Swamp is the author of Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World.

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For the Love of Trees

The Autumn season draws our attention to the trees, particularly deciduous trees going through such beautiful color changes and losing their leaves. The changing winds bring out the music of the trees with the rustling of the leaves hanging onto their branches, falling to the ground, and dancing around at our feet.
We humans can build attachments to special trees in our lives, those that grow up with us and die in our lifetimes, and those that may live on for hundreds of years longer if given the chance.
There are many stories of grief over the loss of a single special tree. Recently in the UK, a beloved tree, the
Sycamore Gap tree in Northumberland, was cut down by someone who certainly did not feel a connection to the trees. The public outrage that followed created a reminder that though we may build an attachment to one specific tree, billions of trees are estimated to be cut down every year with the primary cause being deforestation.
This destruction, of course, has a lasting impact on the global climate and the overall health of the earth and her inhabitants. Beyond the emotional and often spiritual connections humans feel for the trees, we share our breaths with the trees. They take in the carbon dioxide that we breathe out and produce oxygen that we breathe in. It is a natural exchange that has evolved together since life began on Earth.
Building connections with other life forms, nature, and the natural cycles brings out our humanity. It can create rich relationships on its own and remind us of connections with people in our lives.
This is your reminder to breathe with the trees!