One of the problems in our world is the tendency to think of trees as inanimate. By doing so, we see them as objects, rather than subjects, rather than living beings. If we were to see a tree and wonder what it is like, to be a tree, perhaps the empathy could allow us to care for the natural world a little more. It was something I was thinking about last week, and then I heard about the Melbourne Urban Forest, where you can actually email a tree.
To understand this concept a little more, please watch this delightful little video that popped up in our Youtube feed yesterday, about the 72,000 trees in Melbourne with email addresses. That's right, you can email the tree - and get an email back. Wouldn't you love that as your day job, pretending to be that tree and emailing a person back?
It got me thinking about the stories we have about trees in our lives. The ones we drive by every day. The ones we planted. The ones that give us fruit. The ones that give us medicine. The ones that we cry under, kiss boys under, shade and shelter over, or climb in. Trees are not just objects - they live alongside us and become part of our stories, part of our histories.
Take this beautiful oak, for example. It sits on a hill in a meadow in the land behind my mother in law's house in Coleford, UK.
If I was to email this tree, I'd talk about how I felt when I first sat under it and looked out across the fields, and how grateful I was for it's cool shade on a hot Spring day. I felt held by this tree, even in the extreme anxiety that was buzzing in the air along with the tiny charcoal butterflies in the long grasses. It was the early days of the pandemic, I would say, and this is what I was expeririencing when I sat under you and cried. I'd ask this tree to take care of my mother in law when she walks past and misses her son all the way in Australia. I'd ask how long it had been there, and whether it saw changes in the meadows where sheep grazed and affected the biodiversity that is so precious in that part of the world. There's many things I could say to this tree. This tree became so sigificant that now my husband's mother says 'we walked up to the River tree'. River isn't my real name, but it'll do to explain how this tree has become part of our family landscape. It's not just a tree.
Email a Tree & Win HIVE (Sponsors Appreciated)
I'm offering 20 HIVE and @trucklifefamily has offered a 10 HIVE prize as well - watch this space for updates!
I thought it'd be fun to do a challenge where you emailed a tree - hypothetically, of course. You don't actually have to email a tree - just pretend.
You can write it as a post, or you can drop your comment below.
It should be 300 words or more (unless it's a poem or a video) and include a photograph of a tree that is precious to you, or has some significant memories attached to it. If you don't have an actual photograph of the tree, a
It could be about the importance of this tree to your culture or family, your childhood memories of it, or any other memories, questions you'd like to ask it, or even an imagined story that took place under this tree, because of the tree, or when the tree was planted. Anything you like - as long as the tree is a subject rather than an object. You don't even have to tell a truthful story - it could be a fiction if you like.
I don't mind what community you write it in, just drop your link underneaath here in the next week or so (or comment if you like). I'd love to read your tree stories! You can also read lots of short ones here for inspiration if you're stuck!
Please DO share this post and tag people you think would do a great entry (@trucklifefamily and @buckaroobaby, I'm looking at you!) - my offer of 20 HIVE is only valid for 5 posts or more, to be fair - so the more the merrier! And I'm always a bit generous for awesome writing, so don't be suprised if I throw a little more at really good entries! Be amazing!
Are you on HIVE yet? Earn for writing! Referral link for FREE account here