For The Love Of Fred

“Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me
And tune his merry note,
Unto the sweet bird’s throat;
Come hither, come hither, come hither.
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.”

― William Shakespeare, As You Like It

the village trees -
Trees are mystical, he said.

I suppose this kind of stunned me. Not the contents, so much as that this was coming from D3. With his work he says he lets the wood tell him what it wants to be, once he touches it, he rescues them from a dreary life of nothingness, breathes new life into their tired knots and scars of past nails.

So he continued with, you know, trees are just happiest when they’re giving. Giving wood to the fire for warmth, giving their wood for a chair to sit on”, and I paused and had to think about that.

A tree draws up through their roots nourishment, and sends it out into their environment, even recognizing their own offspring and shooting off a little extra their way. Which is incredible, that they can recognize their own young. That trees make sounds, I just learned, and that they filter the air of its toxins. They make neighbourhoods a community, as they shelter its citizens.

Yet, maybe they do more than just stand there looking all big & sexy.

More than through their beauty alone, perhaps they give out to everything that surrounds them, all living things, this force that somehow softens anger, assuage bits of our pain and balances the divergent opinions at play within any city of moderate size in the 21st century. They soothe.

Perhaps even in death, they go on giving.

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”

― William Blake

Oh, certainly, their shady green gorgeousness gives neighbourhoods a monetary boost, but what if it is not just their beauty that is at work? What if it is this force they send out into the earth under our feet? Maybe trees are more than just eye candy.

He is correct. I think trees do have some sort of deep-seated need to give back to their world. To filter the bad, send more of the good out to that which surrounds it. Those mystical giants that line our streets, giving back as they grow.

Trees make us better. If we don’t appreciate their intrinsic value, then it will be us that looses, not the trees.

I do love trees. And I think sometimes we can become prejudice to the majestic Oaks, and the Mighty Maples, and forget about the smaller ones, the simpler, quieter sort, like the Dogwoods of the woods, and their common habit, coming alive in spring as a choir of soft white line forest paths, or the fledgling saps down at The Coves, making their way towards becoming a forest.

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

And Fred, native to Asia and Australia and the official tree of Bangkok (not Fred, but Ficus benjamina), obviously with a hardy soul immune to the abuses of the masses of flesh and steel and chugging diesel that clogs every pore. Fred is a distant cousin of the Buddha tree, Ficus Religiosa.

I think Fred likes it when I talk about him, btw (yes Fred, I’m talking about you again). His leaves seem to perk up a little, and in these dark days approaching of winter, that quiet touch of him near is very welcome, soothing. He is important, and what a dreary world it would be without the trees.

“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die

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