“While still in the cage of your being behold the
spirit bird before it flies away.”
I have fallen in love with many trees in my life but the one that holds the biggest place in my heart was at my grammy & Djat’s house (Djat is what we called my grandfather). Visiting them felt like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a chilly night. They gave me an appreciation for the earth, and all living things. This tree seemed so big to me at the time. It swaddled me in love, the same way they did. One of the large branches extended straight out then swooped upward towards the sky, making the perfect little seat like you were sitting in a swing. The tree was perfect for just “being” as well as for climbing. It made me feel adventurous and safe all at the same time.
When I learned the Earth Day theme this year is “Trees for the Earth” it got me dreaming about what kind of tree I would plant in our garden this year. It has evolved from virtually NO trees to lush garden beds layered in a smorgasbord of color. Brett and I plant something new each year and much of what we choose to plant is with the bees, butterflies, bugs and birds in mind. I am mindful of the many forests that are cleared with no thought as to where the creatures that dwelled there will live once they are gone. I know I can’t change the world, but I can do this one small thing where I live. Imagine if we all did?
I was surprised to learn that our planet is currently losing over 15 billion trees each year (equivalent to 48 football fields every minute). This just makes me sad. It reminded me of one of my favorite books by Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree. Trees give us so much and I don’t ever want to take that for granted.
“Alone with myself
The trees bend to caress me
The shade hugs my heart”
– Candy Polgar
Maybe there is a tree you would like to plant in your yard. The Arbor Day Foundation has a great “tree wizard” that recommends the best trees and shrubs for your neck of the woods which I thought was really cool. It gives you suggestions based on how big an area you have, what kind of light your yard gets, and even whether you want a flowering, fruit or nut tree. The paintings in this post were inspired by a combination of my grandparents tree and the dainty flowers on the weeping cherry tree in our front yard (which is showing off right now). This is the first year in a long time that the rain didn’t harm the delicate petals just as they came into bloom.
“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.”
– Chinese proverb
Cheery Smiles your way…