My Favorite Tree
Do you have a favorite tree or lilac bush or special place you go to find “center” again? I remember going to the “grove” on the farm – it seemed mysterious and safe all at the same time. On the edge was a wild plum that we sampled when the fruit was ripe. I also remember swinging from a giant oak tree in the backyard. My dad had secured a barn rope over one long branch and tied a gunny sack full of straw on the bottom. A bit scratchy, but heavenly, as I spent hours hanging, swinging and looking up into those massive branches. My kids talk about the lilac bushes they played “hideout” in when visiting grandma.
When we are connected to nature, it becomes an extension of ourselves. This love relationship inspires us to take care of nature, protect it and find ways to be in it as much as possible. A few years ago, when I visited the Lied Center http://www.liedlodge.org/ at the Arbor Day Foundation www.arborday.org in Nebraska City, I fell in love with the hazels. At the time, these large, broad, arching shrubs were loaded with hazelnut clusters. As I wandered through the hazel “grove” I recalled all my childhood connections with trees, bushes, and the critters that lived in them. When I got the chance to be a charter member of the Arbor Day’s hazelnut research project, I immediately signed up. I am now cultivating my own small hazel grove and dream of the days when I can ‘hideout’ with my grandchildren under the shelter of their loving branches.
What does your relationship with Nature inspire in you?