This I Believe
I believe in trees. I live among trees. I even have one that grows up through my front porch. I call her my “Mother tree”. She is approximately eighty-feet tall and I swear I can feel her pulse. I often sit beside her on the porch and just rest my hand on her bark. She is comforting, understanding, and strong. My fascination with trees began early in life. When I read “Swiss Family Robinson”, I was certain I would one day live in a tree house. Later, when I saw the Tarzan movies, I was even more enthralled with the idea. My house today is surrounded with very tall, mature trees. When we built it, we only removed a few saplings in order to set the house in. The house sets seven feet off the ground on telephone poles and when looking out the windows one gets the feeling of being in a tree house. Many people express concern that I will be crushed inside my home when one of these big trees fall. I do not worry. These trees are my friends, my companions through life. I have never done anything to endanger them in any way and they shelter us from wind, rain, and unrelenting sun in the summer. They provide homes and food for my beloved feathered friends. They are living as we are living and deserve the respect we demand. It is painful when I see entire stands of healthy, living trees destroyed by the almighty human and his powerful saw, all for monetary gain. One of my favorite stories is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. The story tells of a tree that gives and gives of itself to a boy and then to the man he became until there is nothing left but a stump. Then the tree offers itself up as a resting place for the greedy man. This is so typical of man that he feels he must take and take of what the earth has to offer, until there is no more. I believe that if man is allowed to continue, he will one day find himself living on a bald earth. I believe that man is only interested in having money in his pocket. I believe his children will not be able to climb and explore the many wonders of a tree. I believe his children will never have a swing hanging from the strong branches of a magnificent tree or be able to lean back in a swing and look up through the leaves to the sky. I believe “the man” does not care and he will just keep on taking and never even think to be thankful for the gifts.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.