Big Old Trees

Who doesn’t love a tree? Its beauty, fruits, colors and graceful lines. Trees are important characters in the play of life. We pass by them everyday but most of us have little understanding of all the things trees are doing. Yes, we’ve all learned the O2- C02 exchange between living creatures and trees, but there’s much more going on. If we knew about it all, might we value trees more, not cut them down and plant the native trees of our region? Here is one older tree that sits in a hedgerow near a medical complex in the industrial park near my apartments.

It is a sugar maple. It is a “mother tree” providing benefits to all the trees and plants, and animals that are part of its area of influence. It has provided a hard wood for human needs and provides syrup that is used by animals and humans, insects and myriad organisms. But, its most important contribution may be its brilliant colors in the Fall.

Trees also provide other critical benefits to human health by providing the connectivity in the natural environment from which health arises.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a scientist and writer whose work is devoted to understanding the numerous roles of trees in the ecological health of natural habitats, plants and wildlife, and of the human species. Follow the link below to learn more.

And the Coastal Oaks Danced

Hurricane Sally swept through Pensacola, Florida leaving a trail of destruction, disconnected power lines, and broken water mains. But among the trees of the city, it was the native Coastal Oaks that danced in the wind and stood true in the after calm.

Native trees, plants, and species are adapted to the place where they originate. There is a reason that they are there, adapted, and contributing.

Trees are the hope of our time. Research about the function and role of trees in ecosystems across the world is unfolding rapidly. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, a biochemist, teacher, and tree expert, is actively teaching the public around the world about the function of their native trees. Much of her work will amaze you. Two films are critical to watch. The Call of Trees: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees is one film that I recommend that you watch. The other is an interview from VanCouver that will show you how she advises cities and regions. Very practical steps and hopeful vision of the world. Restore the Trees!

Interview from VanCouver

You can watch and/or buy the film on Amazon Prime

See Dr Kroeger’s website Global Forest Revival.

You can also go to YouTube and type in her name to find dozens of wonderful presentations. Let’s all plant 1 native tree each year for 6 years! We’ll change the world for the better if we do.

What I think about that . . .

In July I turned 75. Over a long life I’ve accumulated myriad experiences across this nation. First, as a child of a career military family, and then as the wife of a Vietnam War veteran and conservative businessman. Later, after an egregious divorce and the shattering of our family, I experienced near poverty, grief and loss. I wandered for years, in gorgeous natural places, and met some of my best friends who helped me and my children pull our lives together. I have learned about this country by direct experience, not by the false narratives I’d been taught as a child.

A measure of a life is how one learns, grows, changes with experience and knowledge; how one softens soulfully in kindness and compassion as the understanding dawns that every person, and every living thing, shares a similar struggle to live, love, and find happiness. This process is not even but occurs in giant leaps, regressions and rescue, and a certain God given striving to be the best person possible no matter what. And then, accepting how we fail at that. Just accepting it.

My vision, contrary to what we think about aging, has sharpened. I see a country on the verge of destroying itself. I see gross injustice for the majority of Americans. We’ve achieved horrendous outcomes that measure us as a third world country in the ways that we do NOT care for each other. Not surprised, however, for the economic system that has driven this country from its beginning is based on values that presaged these outcomes.

The man who now leads this country is exemplary of our immaturity. A man who has not learned, grown in wisdom, nor recognizes our shared humanity which lifts no life above another. Until we remove him from office, we risk falling further into disgrace, disorder, and dissolution.

Once we remove him, then we must examine honestly how we regard each other, and GROW UP. Democracy is serious business and it requires serious citizens who engage in its work and provide guidance to our leadership. We must require that the people we elect are mature people who realize what is at stake should they play games, hold grudges, lust after money and power, and misuse the privilege of leadership.

We have serious problems: injustice, climate change, Covid-19 pandemic, and failed international leadership and cooperation. We must elect women and men who show the character of people who learn, grow in wisdom and compassion, and who can cooperate with others to achieve outcomes for all.

We must.