“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.” –John Muir
I have always felt a strong connection to the trees, from the time I was five until I moved away when I was eight, I would spend every day climbing this one tree outside our apartment. The branches were just perfect so that climbing the tree was like climbing a sturdy ladder, perfect for a young child. That tree became my best friend; every time I would climb, I would go higher and higher, eager to see how far our adventure together could go. My sister never liked climbing, but that didn’t stop her from joining me in my love for trees. There was one tree whose branches came so low to the ground that it created this alcove, so when you went inside, you were isolated from the rest of the world. My sister and I would spend hours upon hours playing inside the tree, without a single care for the world outside.
I never really thought about why I loved the trees, though, until I went on the Botanic Gardens trip last month and found one tree in particular that caught my attention. At first, I was drawn to the tree simply because it reminded me of the kind of trees that can be found sprinkled around my neighborhood back home. Then I noticed these lines on the tree branch; they looked exactly like self-harm scars on a person’s arm. It was then that I realized how similar trees are to people.
They have a past and are susceptible to be injured by that past and by the environment they are in. However, they are grounded and rooted in love, just like all of us. God knit each one of them together, fiber-by-fiber, planning and working every moment of their lives for good. This is why they are so strong and resilient like humans; despite the trials and difficulties they endure, they keep growing and telling their beautiful stories. So go sit with a tree and listen to her tales. You might be surprised by what she teaches you.
Written by Laura Anderson, WLLC 2015-2016