Plant a Tree In Memoriam for the Environment
Remembering a Story Told Long Ago
It must be thirty years now. I know I was running a convenience store my wife and I had purchased. A regular customer came in one day and we started small-talking, a little of this, a little of that, as customers and store owners do. He mentioned he was on his way to the nursery to buy a tree for his daughter. I said that was a nice thing to do and I was sure she would appreciate the gesture, at which point he told me his daughter had died ten years earlier.
She was fifteen at the time and had died in a car crash. He went on to tell me a little bit about her. “She was a pistol, that one,” he told me. “Always headstrong, always willful, but a damned fine kid. Beautiful she was, long blond hair, heart-shaped face and a smile, my God, that smile would melt your heart.”
He got a little choked up then but recovered quickly. “Anyway,” he continued, “I decided the other day to buy a tree in her honor. We’re going to plant it right outside the bay window so we can see it every morning while we have our coffee. Since she could be so ornery we decided, my wife and I, to plant a crabapple tree.” Then he laughed, and the laughter was mixed with sadness, and not knowing what else to say I simply said it was a beautiful gesture.
And it was!
It is estimated that by the year 2030 only 10% of the world’s old-growth forests will remain.
You don’t need me to tell you the importance that trees play in our environment. No matter your political leanings, no one can deny that, in the circle of life, trees play an important part in this planet’s continued survival. That is a scientific fact that simply can’t be denied.
However, I’m a realist. I understand that progress happens. I understand that farmers in third world nations need more land to farm for survival, and I understand that as the world’s population grows, people need to clear more land in order to raise buildings in which to live.
I get it. I also understand that the world’s economy runs on business, and business needs factories and warehouses and all of that means clearing more trees.
I have a degree in Economics so I really do understand. In the current state of the world, something has to give, and that something is the delicate balance of nature. I can hug all the trees I want but that doesn’t change the reality of over-population and the increased need for land to build on and resources to keep the machines running.
But all is not hopeless, and that’s the point of this article.
Which brings us back to my former customer.
Imagine if people planted trees in memory of their loved ones around the world.
Fifty-six million people will die in 2016, give or take a few, of course.
Fifty-six million trees!
My heart soars at the thought of it.
Will it happen?
Of course not!
So let’s just give up!
Let’s just toss in the towel and consider this cause, the cause of the environment, to be a waste of time and effort.
Let’s take the easy way out. It’s what many are good at, the path of least resistance, the path that takes the least amount of time, the path that provides the maximum benefit for the least amount of effort.
Let’s just piss and moan and do nothing about it.
Sorry, but I Get a Little Snippy over These Matters
I can’t help it. I get up in the morning and I promise myself I’m going to remain calm. I’m going to accept my fellow man as just the way he is, and I’m going to live in harmony with my mouth shut and my emotions in check….and then an hour later I read another story of waste or hear on the news another story of apathy and I swear I erupt.
HOW CAN PEOPLE NOT CARE????
HOW HAS THIS DISEASE OF COMPLACENCY INFECTED SO MANY IN SOCIETY????
And then I feel the need to sit down and rant through my writing in hopes that someone out there in the bleak netherworld of cyberspace will hear…and act.
One tree each.
One stinking tree each.
Heck, I planted two this year, so I’ve covered for one of you out there.
I Took a Walk This Weekend
The weather was horrendous, but not so horrendous that North Face couldn’t battle it, so I slipped on my waterproof jacket and walked three blocks to a natural preserve in our neighborhood. Bev was with me, and we walked by the wetlands and listened to the raindrops fall from the second-growth firs, and the birds sang their late-fall songs. The sounds of the city were swallowed by the pristine barrier. The air was cool, damp and invigorating. We could smell the damp leaves that had fallen and the traces of rotting matter beneath our feet as nature did her thing. For an hour we left civilization behind and returned to our roots, and it was just what the figurative doctor ordered.
And I couldn’t imagine it all being gone!
One tree each!
I Purposely Waited Until This Time of Year…..
…..To write this article. Late fall is the perfect time to plant trees. Dig that hole deep, give the roots a chance to spread and nourish during the winter, protect with a layer of mulch and in the spring you will be rewarded with a healthy and giving member of the environment.
One tree each!
As I write this, our critters are walking around our urban farm, looking for bugs to eat. It’s a peaceful scene, as natural as I can make it living within a city. This is my little paradise, and it’s my little statement in support of simple living and the environment. We have tried to lessen our impact on the environment each year that we have lived here. It’s a little thing…it’s just one family…but at least it’s something for positive change.
And that’s what I’m asking each of you to consider….positive change. You don’t have to go to the extremes that Bev and I have gone to in order to make a difference and help this world. You don’t have to live on an urban farm. You don’t have to raise your own vegetables or completely change your lifestyle.
You can make a change by simply planting a tree in memoriam.
One tree each!
Such a little thing, but it will grow into such a large symbol.
2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)