Be like a tree
I want to be a tree when I grow up. Or at least personify the magical qualities of trees. Just like people, trees come in all shapes and sizes. They have many different colors and like people, offer a bounty of gifts—flowers, fruits, leaves and more. As I write this, I’m reflecting on how trees have come and gone in my life.
During my childhood years, I spent hours up in the walnut tree just outside my bedroom. I told that tree everything and then some. When we moved across the freeway to a home without trees to climb, I turned into a beach kid driving to Huntington or Laguna Beach every chance I got. As an adult, could not get enough of the surf and sand until ten years ago when I moved to Laguna Woods. The creek and Aliso Park called to me and trees with “knotty faces” was also the topic of a column.
My latest move offers me a gorgeous view of trees in the distance. However, I missed my creek walks; in particular I missed the big pine trees that made me feel I was living in the mountains. Happily, on a recent walk I discovered a patch of pine trees with lots of knotty faces! The next day I returned to photograph my new tree friends and each day since, I’m there in my little forest talking to the trees, hugging them and leaning against them while meditating.
Many people share my tree passion. After 60 years of acting, Judi Dench is devoting a year to nothing but trees and has converted her six-acre garden into a secret woodland to live, breathe and communicate with the trees. In the promotion for her BBC special that aired in Great Britain only, she tells us she wants to “find out how trees survive the harsh winter, hear what’s going on beneath the bark when they burst back into life in spring, and see how they fight back against invading hordes.” She expresses fascination with how woodlands have shaped history, how trees live in community, and that there are more trees than stars in the galaxy.
Not sure any of this explains why I want to be a tree when I grow up. Maybe it’s simply my way of saying how much I love them, relax around them, and feel so inspired by them. Trust this gives you something to consider the next time you feel drawn to a tree. If so, go ahead and give it a hug if you want.
Originally published in the Orange County Register/Laguna Woods Globe, March 8, 2018