The rush and excitement is on! As the holiday season draws near, there is much preparation for the festive activities, and all the adornments that accompany creating a warm and inviting, light-filled holiday with family and friends.
Central to the giving of gifts and celebration is the Christmas tree – that wonderful icon that stands so nobly in its designated corner. The tree is a symbol of peace over the season, of giving and sharing. Decorating the tree is a special occasion and ritual, with everything shiny and glittering being carefully unpacked out of storage, and lovingly hung and displayed by the children and family members.
The tree is the symbol of life – the desire to grow taller towards the light in order to sustain life.
While we reflect upon the nobility of trees, we might take a pause this year to reflect upon the purpose of trees. We might consider that despite the family tradition of bringing home the tallest, finest and best tree on the lot; one that exudes that comforting woody fragrance – perhaps it is time to let trees stay in the earth, and opt for a manufactured one that will look just as good once it is dressed up.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into an increasingly challenged and unbalanced atmosphere in exchange. They absorb dust and also filter heavy metal particulates out of the air. Their root system holds the earth together, thereby eliminating the impact of runoff and the potential for mudslides. Trees around your house provide shade, reducing energy costs and creating a cooling affect in a planet that is continuing to warm. Trees also create habitats for many different species – an ongoing contribution to the vibrant web of life. Nature provides us with a healing environment, and trees are very much a part of that environment. Trees are the very lungs of our earth.
As we are gift giving and sharing with family and friends, perhaps a little thought and wish for the wellbeing of the earth might become part of a meaningful Christmas and holiday season. Perhaps if we leave more trees in the earth, each will continue to play their small part in contributing to that interconnected world-wide-web of life that will keep us all safe and healthy for decades to come.
This holiday can be extra special for the wellbeing of the planet and all the wildlife, as we opt to purchase trees from our favourite home hardware store and keep trees in the earth where they belong.