In parts of the world, but not where I live in North Florida, plants are stretching tall in springtime.
We always appreciate trees when the leaves are new. But I think in the fall & winter, when the full show of their
green is absent, this is a time to consider what our every day world would be like, if we lived in a land where the trees as we understood them to grow naturally, in woods, & in clumps at seepages of water, down hillsides and circling fileds, were only planted in rows. Or if the trees weren’t there at all. Maybe you have lived without the cloaks of trees. But I have not. I grew up by a woods. My mother recited the line, “Woodman! spare that tree,” to me about the youth who was sheltered by a tree & could therefore not cut it, when he was older.
When I read children’s books about the tree woman of Kenya, Wangari Maathai, I felt that she must have loved being a little girl, & that in that time of her life, she must have loved trees. The shade of them, the fruit of them, the branches of them.
There are several good children’s books about her. The one I currently have is from author/artist Claire A. Nivola.
Like all good books, it made me want to know more about what happened to Kenya’s trees. And about how Ms. Maathai brought them back.
So my bedside reading right now is Unbowed: a memoir by Wangari Maathai.