Trees are a gift to the planet. And more: they are absolutely essential for life.
They stand among us and around us in sheer, wondrous grandeur.
We take them for granted, whether lone trees in our backyard, or those large, lovely, graceful cathedral forests we sometimes visit.
Sometimes we stand shock-still before their sheer beauty. The poet Joyce Kilmer wrote - 'I think that I shall never see / a poem as lovely as a tree.'
Trees come as either deciduous or evergreen. Some with tiny needles refresh themselves as they grow; others seem to recycle their leaves season after season, as they appear to die and then gloriously, gradually re-emerge.
Seed and sapling, root and trunk, branch and leaf… In their time, each in its own way in their season, they blossom and flower and flourish.
I think we’re meant sometimes just to notice them - simply to enjoy them.
We visit treed places to be alone, to explore. They surround us with quiet - broken only at times perhaps by the hush and hurry of wind or a concert of birds.
They spread a gentle mantle over us. They hide our tracks and create our trails.
They provide us richly with food. We love the sweet sap of maples each Spring. We're nourished by the fruits of their efforts, their sacrifice: - by apricots, cherries, apples — and so much more.
Trees shelter and protect us, towering high o'er us like sentinels as we journey. They provide homes for God’s little creatures too,
Trees are life-giving in so many ways. In a wondrous photosynthetic exchange that gives us life and may help to save our planet, they take carbon from our surroundings and give us the oxygen that we need.
We are to care for all of creation, to be stewards of the world’s forests. We should all be foresters.
Scientists tell us that one help in combating the earth's accelerating climate is in the planting of more trees, We could do this if only we would cover an additional one billion hectares of our planet with trees.
Life on our planet needs our response. 'Plant a tree!' we must tell each other.
The life we save may be our own.