Nature replenishes my spirit in so many ways. Clean air and water. The simultaneous serenity and thrill while standing on the edge of millions of acres of public lands. Sunshine warming my face. The sound of rain on my rain jacket. Watching a bee fly; toads, deserts, murmuration.
Trees are an organism for which I am supremely grateful. I have always loved them, even before I could understand the depth of what that means.
On a grand scale, trees have sustained cultures for millennia. Closer to home and more personally, trees provide life-saving shelter, shade from the powerful sun, bone- and muscle-warming heat, magnificent beauty, the sound of wind moving through the leaves.
So I've been pondering lately, what do I give back to them? Indeed, what is the exchange between all of nature and myself? It did not take me long to make the connection.
A spotlight. Through my art and writing I shine a spotlight on the beauty, magnificence, importance, and cultural community that trees and forests provide; the very reasons we should be protecting, respecting and thanking them.
My hope is that my work will inspire others to broaden their interest in trees, to the point of finding themselves caring about trees in their own environment, maybe even becoming stewards of the land.
In the spirit of paying it forward, for the trees, click here for a beautifully made documentary created by a young Alaskan woman about the clear cutting of old growth forests in the Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska.