Glorious Trees by Beach T. Weston Just Beachie Column
At first glance, a tree might seem uncomplicated and unimportant—the reality is trees are an invaluable gift to the world. We can’t live without them…literally!
The Arbor Day Foundation (arborday.org) have gathered several studies from major universities, and the U.S. Forest Service. The studies found thata single tree can give up to four people their daily supply of oxygen.The studies also discovered thatwherever there are canopies of trees, there are healthier people,and a decrease in crime (including graffiti).
I contribute this phenomena to a tree emanating positive, one might say, magical energy. Have you ever felt distraught, but when you gazed upon, or touched a tree your angst disappeared? If even for a moment, a feeling of peace was restored.
I’m a tree-hugger. I love the peace and happiness a tree gives to those open to its energy.
Trees want you to relax in their shade. Trees want you to “cop-a-squat” as Julia Roberts (Vivian) said to an uptight Richard Gere (Edward) in Pretty Woman. Trees want you to be amazed by their stature. Trees want you to appreciate the creatures that depend on them for their existence.
One of my great tree memories happened while hiking in Washington’s, Mount Rainier National Park:
On a perfect Fall afternoon, my friend, Sam and I were relishing a hike on the Twin Fir Trail. The hiking path was home to a variety of Pine and Fir. The tree trunks aside the path were adorned by thick ferns, thimbleberries, and huckleberries. Decaying logs, fallen branches, and velvet green moss created a luscious and mysterious environment. It was Shangri-La. A happy-land. A harmonious world where nature’s crisp aroma mesmerized the senses. I remember thinking, this must be a glimpse of Heaven.
Half-way into our hike, a massive Douglas Fir came insight—I couldn’t resist—the three hundred (plus) year-old tree received one of my best hugs. I suggested to Sam to do the same. Her response:
“Are you nuts!? Someone will see me and think I’m weird!”
“Just give it a try…I promise it will feel fabulous!”
Sam, (with great reluctance) closed her eyes and hugged. She released her grip for a moment, and hugged again.
“Hey! This feels good…I feel stupid, but it feels good!”
Watching Sam hug the Douglas Fir is one of my treasured memories. It was an amazing experience to see a person who would normally never think of hugging a tree receive such great satisfaction from a simple embrace.
I love telling Sam’s story, and I have to say (and Sam agrees), that once connected to trees, there is no going back. Each time you admire a tree, the spiritual moment will return. A moment of tranquility. A lovely oneness with nature.
Find a tree that calls to you and give it a great-big-bear-hug. Find a tree that inspires you to cop-a-squat, read a book, have a picnic, and smooch with a lover. Relax and let the tree’s enchantment fill you with gratitude.
In peace, love, and joy. Beach P.S. To this day, my reluctant friend, Sam, hugs trees—and in her words, “it feels wonderful!”