A golden Bigleaf Maple stands in the morning light surrounded by evergreens.

Living life full of trees and changing leaves

“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.”  – Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

The trees we depend on for every breath are watching us. Waiting for us. They are bracing themselves for the storms and the droughts by rooting deeper. Will the world leaders gathering in Glasgow fight for their survival and for ours? Please let it be more than lip service at the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference.

Will we look back in years to come and say this was the moment we stopped waiting for the world to change – because it finally did? The trees have been patient enough. Let our actions be swift, creative, and radical.

I’m pretty sure I was born a Pacific Northwest tree hugger. I love their beauty and the symbolism trees carry. I cherish that a single tree can witness the story of many generations. I am grateful for every giant fir tree that somehow was left to gracefully reach the sky.

I sometimes wonder if I can ever sell my home in Oregon. I feel a sense of responsibility to protect the evergreen inhabitants of “my” land. I couldn’t stomach someone cutting the fir tree that often holds the young Bald Eagle while he rests.

Virginia Woolf continued her passage with, “She did not know what they meant, but, like music, the words seemed to be spoken by her own voice, outside her self, saying quite easily and naturally what had been in her mind the whole evening while she said different things.” World leaders have to stop denying and stalling. Stop looking for the money tree. Look to the tree of life and the family tree.

How can each of us do our part? Hold leaders accountable for one. The 110 nations that just agreed to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 for 85% of the world’s forests is a good start. We cannot waste time with leaders that won’t act. Every vote is one for or against the planet.

Our greatest good individually could be as simple as planting a tree. It’s an act of kindness for the planet and all our children and their children. We’re all in this together. When we care for the trees they grow both up and down, tall and deep. Grounded and reaching for the stars. Just like us.

In November the Gratitude Club received a card celebrating three gorgeous trees. Two grow in my backyard and one in the Hawaiian Islands. The mosaic art merges the leaf shape of the Bigleaf/Boxelder Maple, the intense fall colors of the Red Oak, and the bark of the Rainbow Eucalyptus. We protect what we love, so I hope this month’s card (printed on sustainable bamboo paper) turns your heart toward the trees.

Not a gratitude club member? You can grab this and the whole fall collection in the card shop. But maybe hurry and join the club before the December mailing. You’re going to love the snowy watercolor scene we’re sending out.

Rainbow colored vertical stripes on the bark of a Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree.
Virginia Wolf quote about our lives and trees.
Fall colored mosaic of a maple tree decorates a gratitude card with text that says, "kindness roots in every season"
Red Oak leaves purse with red, orange, yellow and green fall colors.

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