Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Second "Confession" - Earth Day Tribute!

Flowers on a Japanese or saucer magnolia tree

Last post, I admitted that I had a few projects going on.  The first was Organizing My Home Like Crazy.

The Second?
You are now reading the words of a Certified Arborist.

What's an arborist, you ask?  To put it simply, I know quite a bit about trees.

While living in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of working for an amazing organization called TreePeople.  My first job there was to educate children about the "city forest."  My second job there was as Campus Forestry Manager, where I led tree-planting events with loads and loads of volunteers (parents, teachers, and especially children) on school campuses around Los Angeles.  Because I gained experience and knowledge about trees (obviously), I was eligible to become certified as an arborist.

Oh, but that dreaded test!

I sucked it up, studied for D-A-Y-S, took the thing early one Monday morning, and lo and behold, I passed.  You have no idea how good it felt to walk out of that testing center knowing that I now have "credibility" when it comes to trees -- and therefore I am able to help them just a little bit more.

You see, I have realized something in my life.  It's this:  I have a deep desire to leave this planet a little better than I left it.  More specifically, I'd like to do my part at helping humans and nature live together more harmoniously.

In all honesty, I think we humans have a ways to go.

But the place to start -- the place where we can all start --- is recognizing the gifts that trees give and go from there.  When we develop an appreciation for the things we take for granted, we change for the better.

Remember, trees give us oxygen.  They provide shade and transpire through their leaves, cooling the air.  They give us food. They give nice animals shelter.  They capture rain in their canopies and put water back into the natural aquifer.  They lower our bills when planted near our homes, because they cool us off.  They raise the values of our neighborhoods.  They provide sound buffers for traffic.  They clean the air of many pollutants.  They are fun to climb.  And they are beautiful.

They heal us in ways that the human spirit has yet to understand.

So take care of a tree today.  Or make plans to plant one.  (Select the right species for the right place, please, to ensure a long life!)  Or just take the time to admire one.

And yes, I give you permission to go hug one.  Don't worry -- I won't tell.

My daughter making friends with an oak outside our home

Admiring the oak in my parents' backyard -- must be over 200 years old!

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