Do not call me a ‘strange child.’
What I am telling you is true.
Humans are not the only ones capable of communicating with each other.
Everything in this world has its own language, whether you understand it or not.
While holding hands of leaves,
I learned the wordless language
of the trees.
Without one word spoken —
Trees will reveal the mystical path of nature
to anyone who takes the time to listen.
And yes, it’s true. I admit it. Long before I ever heard the term, I was a natural born ‘tree-hugger.’ Every time I have leaned on or hugged a tree, I have immediately felt its strength and warmth. Couldn’t ask for a better friend than a tree—unconditional love defined!
***In 1956, my mom took the monochrome photos above and developed them in a ‘darkroom’ that she created in the basement of our house (mom would have loved Photoshop). An accomplished artist and photographer, she left this world in April 2002. Thank you for these wonderful memories, mom!***
Time travels on. Although I have grown older and my life has changed over the years, I can honestly say there is at least one thing that has remained the same — my love for trees.
A few years ago, on a trip to the island of Kauai, I had the honor of meeting a few “Moreton Bay” fig trees. What an amazing sight! Once I climbed into those huge roots and felt their energy, I wanted to stay there forever.
After my experience there, I highly recommend traveling to the Kauai Allerton Garden to see these magnificent Moreton Bay fig trees. In 1992, because of their prehistoric appearance, director Steven Spielberg even decided to include them in his movie ‘Jurassic Park.’ Their presence commands respect from all who pass by!
On a different note:
Trees can also help with drainage problems and swampy conditions. We had a natural swale in our backyard in Virginia and whenever there was a heavy rain, a river of water appeared and ran way too close to our basement door (in my opinion). To correct the situation, we planted 2 little River Birch trees along the path of the swale and hoped for the best. In the photo below, you can see the little trees in the background with mulch covered roots surrounded by water (they were rather overwhelmed).
About 6 years later, those little river birch trees were as tall as our colonial house (3 stories high). They absolutely loved a soaking rain, and I loved them for making it easier for me to sleep at night without dreaming of Noah’s Ark. The River Birch tree can drink an amazing amount of water with no problem at all. In the 13 years we lived there, not one drop of water ever entered our house.
In early 2020, after my husband and I moved to Texas, I joined the San Antonio Arborist’s ‘Tree Bud Citizen Forester’ program. I went to a class that taught how to properly care for and maintain trees, and then I volunteered with the arborists a few times—trimming branches of small trees at local parks.
Covid-19 appeared and the whole world fell into a strange ‘Lockdown.’
Freedom that I had taken for granted, vanished. Suddenly, no one was allowed to do anything anymore, except stay home in fear. This unexpected lockdown was only supposed to last for 3 weeks, but it went on and on and on. We were told this was for our own good, but soon I started to see a lot more evil than good and this worries me.
Now, after 1 ½ years, the not-so-short ‘3 week Covid-19 lockdown’ might be coming to an end? I hope and pray this is true! What good is living if the only thing we are now free to do is worry about dying? Constant fear and stress is extremely unhealthy. I don’t know about you but, after enduring 1 ½ years of confusion and craziness, I definitely need a hug from a tree — which is one of the best medicines of all.