Giving Trees

“…and she loved a little boy very, very much – even more than she loved herself.”
Shel Silverstein from The Giving Tree

A children’s book I have loved since I read it to my daughter when she was a little girl more than 30 years ago is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I work with a program that reads to elementary school children once a week. I saw that book last week and grabbed it to read to the kindergarten girl who I read to every week. We loved it together.

Yesterday (Friday) when I was looking up at the trees where I live while I was taking walk, and I thought- ALL TREES ARE GIVING TREES. All of our trees always give back to all of us humans because they put out oxygen in the atmosphere and take up the carbon dioxide we human breathe out and put out on this earth. Trees are the TRUE HEROES on this planet. Trees also give us fruit to eat, shade, and great beauty to look at. I personally love to live in places where there are a lot of trees. I need to see green every day. It helps to calm my hyper-mind, just looking out at trees. I feel happier when I live in a place where there are a lot of trees.

In the past when we did NOT treasure our trees, many trees have been wiped out for centuries and have NOT grown back. Maine is a state in the USA where they kept cutting their trees. In the late 1600 and during the 1700s, the British cut most of the trees in Maine in order to construct ships when “Britannia ruled the waves”. There are still large swaths of land in Maine that still have almost NO trees. I have driven through one of those areas in Maine. The cutting of Maine’s trees was also one of the reasons that New Englanders were so against the British during the Revolutionary War for America’s freedom. You can read about this more in.

http://www.nelma.org/lagniappe/kings-broad-arrow-and-ewp/

Another state and area greatly affected by the removal of trees was in the Great Plains. The state of Oklahoma became what was known as the “Dust Bowl” beginning in 1931, and many farmers were forced to leave when they could not make a living. Removing trees and poor farming practices have been sighted as causes for this man made disaster in the middle states of the USA. This is a story about how drought in the USA may bring another kind of “Dust Bowl” back to those Great Plain states.

http://www.npr.org/2013/09/10/220725737/dust-bowl-worries-swirl-up-as-shelterbelt-buckles

Other ways that trees have given us humans resources are: PAPER, materials to build our shelter and homes, and even Rayon cloth comes from wood pulp. However, we have other sources that can replace trees as sources for paper and cloth- legal hemp known as industrial hemp! Hemp seeds and the oil from industrial hemp is healthy and great sources of protein. These days, I think, trees most important jobs are to feed us, give us shade, and to help clean up our air. When we can use industrial hemp to make cloth and PAPER, we would help save many of our trees. Industrial hemp has been used by humans for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. This is some more background.

http://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/hemp-101-what-is-hemp-whats-it-used-for-and-why-is-it-illegal

Certain states’ have phobias about industrial hemp that I find irrational. In about 2005 farmers in North Carolina were trying to make industrial hemp legal in that state, so that they could grow it instead of tobacco. Finally in October 2015 a bill was passed to legalize industrial hemp growth in the state. In 2014 there were only 11 states in the USA that allowed farmers to grow industrial hemp. Now there are about 30 states that have made growing industrial hemp legal.

Industrial Hemp now Legal in North Carolina

Our trees and nature itself are our REAL SUPER HERO on this planet. Being good stewards of trees and protecting them by using, for example, industrial hemp instead as sources of cloth, paper, and even building material, makes sense. We need to let trees stand, thin them as needed, because they continue to give back to every single citizen on this planet.

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I Love Trees

I have always loved to be where there were trees. I feel good surrounded by trees. When I want to feel peaceful, besides meditating, trees and being around green helps me feel peaceful. I remember in biology when I learned how trees give us humans oxygen, and we humans give them carbon dioxide, my love for trees grew more.

Now I live in a state where cutting down trees changed the entire state’s economy when leveling the forests was no longer an option. It was a difficult transition for the loggers here. I think the spotted owl became the culprit to stop the logging, but because we stopped logging in many areas in the Northwest, we might have also helped to curb some global warming on the planet.

Here are some facts about trees. There are some good reasons to at least be thankful for trees, even if you don’t go around hugging them.

https://www.ncsu.edu/project/treesofstrength/treefact.htm

In Western Canada, cutting down trees became a huge fight between loggers on one side and native people and environmentalists on the other. The fight began in 1993 over the Great Bear Rain Forest. The Great Bear Rain Forest Agreement was finally signed on February 4, 2016 in British Columbia. The agreement protects 85% of the old growth forest from logging. This fight became known as the “War in the Woods”.
This is a fight we Americans from the USA can learn from. Take a listen. It took more than 20 years to resolve this fight.

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-08-03/great-bear-rainforest-model-how-save-trees

In the state of Oregon, for example, this fight is still going on to protect the forests here. From the website: Oregon Wild, here is a view of what is still happening now.
http://www.oregonwild.org/forests/forest-protection-and-restoration/common-sense-vision-oregon-forests

Of course, I cannot leave out the fact that trees help mitigate global warming because they soak up carbon monoxide. From more up-to-date studies of global warming, we learn that reforestation and tree planting really work well help our planet with global warming. This article from The Guardian helps to explain more about reforestation.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/nov/29/planting-trees-climate-change

I remember years ago a person who I was taking a course with me was showing a group of us how to hug a tree, and the trees we were hugging were sequoias in Muir Woods outside of San Francisco. (Now it is probably banned, because it became too prevalent.) At the time, I felt very awkward and foolish. I just did NOT get it! I was not an old (or even youngish) hippie, back then (I am now). I do not go around hugging trees now, but I do not consider it foolish at all. You do not have to go to an old growth forest to get the “good” vibrations that a tree or trees give(s) off.

Science Proves Hugging Trees Is Good for Health

Where I was born, we usually had to plant trees because it was so dry. I love my family, but I am not able to live close by because of several reasons. One of them is that there are NOT enough trees around where my family lives and because of drought, many of them are dying. One place I lived, many years ago was Arizona, and I was not particularly happy there at all. Today I’m a happier person because I live in a place that has plenty of evergreens and all kinds of trees. Green trees are part of what I need to make me smile a lot. In that kind of green, I feel immersed in nature and closer to my source.

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Thank You for Our Beautiful World

What part of nature do you love in our world?

squirrel in tree

running squirrel

Today I finally was able to photograph a squirrel or two in my neighborhood after two days of trying. I remembered feeding chipmunks grapes as a child. I call them nature’s mercurial kitties, so I have old kinship with them.

resting squirrel

squirrel resting after eating

As you know from my other posts, I think trees are beautiful. They help me feel rooted. I have been thankful for their shade when I have walked in warm climates. Thank you brother tree.

gold color tree

gold color tree

Another joy that I am grateful for are the heavens, clouds, and  sunsets. The sun breaking through the clouds is something awesome.

gray clouds and sun

heavens and clouds

And the gorgeous colors of a glorious sunset can NOT be matched anywhere. Our earth delivers us such amazing phenomenon like the Aurora borealis, which lift our spirits with its beauty. Thank you sky and sunsets.

sunset Sweet Cheeks

Coral sunset and clouds

Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished.”

 –Chief Seattle  of the Suquamish Tribe. This is an authentic version of his speech from Washington State Library.

 

insect outside my door

insect outside my door

I don’t see this insect as a lowly creature. Although I did knock it on the ground yesterday.  That insect taught me! When it showed up for a second time today,  I learned persistence from it.  Now it is another of nature’s friends to me. Nothing is lowly on this planet, people, animals, insects, bacteria, and all of nature.

For me gratitude for our world is essential to a happy life, and it is so simple. All I have to do is open my eyes, smile, breathe, and not judge. Nature adds to my personal serenity, and it has a way of uniting all of us humans. Others believed this, too.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”              

– William Shakespeare

This video shows a little more of the beauty of nature on our planet:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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