Nearly everything about contemporary human life needs to change if we are to seriously address the multiple environmental crises that are facing the planet, but today I will focus on just one topic: trees.
Trees are amazing creatures.
They are found throughout the world, in a wide range of habitats, from elevations below sea level up to alpine; in wetlands and deserts; standing solo or closely communed. The “timber line” is a clear mark on any mountain; above it, needle-bearing perennials give way to lichen-speckled stone that sleeps under snow or basks in the sun, and is softened ephemerally by blossoming annuals.
Mangroves mark coast lines, Junipers rocky ridges, Cottonwoods prairie cricks, Aspens storm-wracked heights and Pines rain-shadow slopes.
From the equator to the tundra, forests thrive thickly, teeming with life micro and macro, nourishing and being nourished by those who gather on their branches, in their shade and among their roots. A pulse of life runs through the whole system, in bark, flicking tails and toadstool stems.
Trees pull water from deepest root tip to highest twig, and transpire it into the sky. They convert sunlight into sugar. They are constantly communicating with each other, with fungus, with insects, and so on and on.