Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Call Me a Tree Hugger

I have always loved trees. As a child I was a tree climber. As a young woman, I sensed a communication with an old Douglas Fir outside a friend's house. Really. I reached out to the tree in my mind, and I felt--sensed--the tree respond. Not in words of course.

Later, as a teacher of young children, I was gathering fir branches to decorate the classroom, for a unit on NW Native Americans. I had clippers in hand, but could not bring myself to cut branches from living trees. It felt like I was cutting off their fingers. In my mind, I said to the tree, "I need some greens for my classroom." I looked around, and there was a large branch full and green laying on the ground!

I used that, of course, hung it from the ceiling.  It gave us the feeling of being in the forest.

Every point of land here in the Puget Sound seems to have a Cedar or Douglas Fir leaning out over the water, like a sentinel.

I've heard that pioneers used fir or pine needles to make a tea rich in vitamin C. Native Americans used Cedar bark for clothing, ropes, to weave into blankets. The roots they made into baskets, and the trunk made their canoes. I can imagine each tree being asked it's permission before it's bark or trunk was used.

Just being among trees or standing at the foot of one gives me a sense of comfort. I feel protected when I lean against the trunk of an evergreen. Trees are like friends.

OK, call me a tree hugger. I am  not offended.

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