Plant A Tree

Shannon - Buda, Texas
Entered on August 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature

I believe that everyone should plant a tree.

Alright alright, so this is what you’re thinking; “What the heck, weird hippie girl? Why would you come on this radio show and tell me to plant a tree?” No worries. I’ll get there.

I’ve been going through a “save the environment” phase recently, although apparently everyone seems to be “going green” these days. About a year ago, I decided to go to Home Depot and take matters into my own hands. No, I didn’t have any sort of rally in front of city hall or lay down in front of any bulldozers; I just wanted to plant a tree in my front yard. And that is exactly what I did…okay, I filled the hole with mulch after my dad dug it.

I soon figured out that a growing tree needs more than just a dirt hole to survive. It needs sunlight, water, protection, some encouragement, and a lot of love. You could say that the same goes for people. I learned this the hard way. See, I was a pretty busy fifteen year old at the time, as weird as that sounds. I didn’t have time to go home and water my tree on a daily basis; I was too busy catching up on the latest high school gossip and buying the newest pair of American Eagle’s ripped jeans.

Over time, my tree was starting to wither and slouch. If plants had faces, mine would have had a constant look of hopelessness. I knew that my friends would never let me live it down that I killed a tree, so, out of guilt and fear of harassment, I decided that I needed to take better care of him. Yes, my tree became a him. HIS name is Toby. My friends got a hoot out of that.

I was genuinely worried about my tree. So I watered Toby, I straightened Toby with a metal stake and some wire string, I fenced Toby in to keep the deer from eating his bark. I even talked to Toby. (I had heard that talking to plants helps their growth.) Sure, my friends called me crazy but I couldn’t help myself. I cared for that tree as if it were my own flesh and blood. I tried so desperately to save him from the eternal dirt pit and the grim reaper of trees.

Eventually, thankfully, he came back to life. He’s not entirely back to his normal self quite yet, but he’s getting there. He no longer needs my worrying or my sheltering. He can stand straight and fend off any deer just fine.

I like to think that trees are like people, except immobile. A tree can’t grow without a little help, and neither can I. Everyone needs something to lean on, whether it is a metal stake or a friend’s shoulder. With every person that I meet, I think of them as my newly planted tree. I am their metal stake in the ground.