The Joy of Trees

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It is my firm belief that the tree in today's society is underrated, downtrodden and underappreciated. Time was when but the mention of the word "tree" would bring a smile to a small child's face as they thought with joy upon the beauty of nature. But now it means nothing.

During the stressful time known only as our Duke of Edinburgh expedition, I had a lot of time to do some soul searching, and what did I find? Yes, the roots of our society, the firm establishments of an animals home, the greenness in a green garden, the tree! So this is for you, the tree, who has stood there through thick and thin.

Ponder this. The tree is the centre of today's society. The worthy unsung hero without whom none of us would be where we are today. There are a select few who have managed to escape the youths’ view and have discovered the tree as their saviour, as their salvation and more importantly, their shade when they can't be arsed to stand in the sun.

Think of a tree. It has stood unchanging for years and years, while the turmoil of daily life goes on around it. It stands unnoticed and unappreciated as people lean against it, children climb it, and generations of birds crap on it. (Sorry, did I say crap? I meant nest). But never once, NOT ONCE, I tell you, did those people see the tree for what it truly is.

They exploit it for their own gain, never once thinking about the tree for what it is; never once sparing so much as a thought for the humble tree, suffering in silence at the cruel hands of man.

When you next walk down the street, do not feel ashamed to go up to a tree and let it know how you feel about it, write it a poem, send it a letter. Soon, you and other tree enthusiasts will be gathered around this unsung hero of the world and will be singing its praises. You may feel liberated, you may feel washed clean of all those times you have misused this natural wonder, or you may feel like a freak-ass and decide you never want to do this again.
When you see people stare at you, do not be ashamed. They are not staring at you because they think you are strange, retarded or in any way abnormal. They are simply admiring your ability to stand up for what you believe in. The likelihood is they wish they could join in, but are simply just too embarrassed to show their feelings in public. Feel proud as you see the look of sheer admiration on their faces. Do not be deterred if this admiration manifests itself in the form of laughing and pointing.

So what then, do trees mean to me? To me, the tree is everything. Where else in the world would you find the calming, serene atmosphere of acceptance that I have come to know and love, if not underneath the branches of a tree? Where else would you find such a loyal, humble servant to the human race, if not in the form of a tree? Yet, despite its crucial role in the running of the world, the tree has kept its roots firmly planted in the soil. Did you realise that trees provide the only downwards arrow in the carbon cycle, and yet never once would you find a trace of arrogance or pride in a tree.

It is an undisputed fact that trees do not receive the appreciation they deserve. It is up to us to change that.

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