Blooming Society Sunday

A bloom is a small idea of how to improve our world.
Tend the garden of humanity with me by blogging with your own idea on any Sunday.
If you do, feel free to pingback here so we can keep the conversation going.

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Today’s Bloom: Plant a Tree

Trees have always felt like a refuge to me. They’re the cathedrals of nature. Walking amongst them is guaranteed to impart a sense of belonging in the world at large. Maybe it’s because a tree can become home to literally hundreds of creatures. Maybe it’s because we didn’t climb down from them all that long ago.

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There is a tree just outside of where I live.

Well, there was.

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A few of the tree’s branches were beaten by storms. Its roots were grasping at the earth beneath a utility box. Its existence had become inconvenient.

When I saw the orange paint streak of death on its trunk, my heart sank. It’s been a few weeks now. A tree-like bush that grows pink flowers has taken its place.

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There are more of these elsewhere on the property. They’re pretty, but it’s rare to see an insect on their branches. The leaves they grow are sparse. The shade they offer is weak.

The entire plant sways in the wind like a child learning to walk. It will never learn to stand on solid ground, the grip of its roots is too weak. I don’t imagine its tendrils will ever wrap around wires. It will never grow strong or tall. Its branches will never dent a car. It will never offer refuge and will rarely be called home.

The demolition of the former tree ripped the grass from the ground. So, the green and yellow blades were replaced with dainty squares of pre-grown grass. The seams left behind by this unnatural planting have started to fill in. In the city, nature takes what it can get.

I live in a state where temperatures in the summer are expected to reach and hover around Fahrenheit’s triple digits. I live on a planet with a finite source of drinkable water — a planet where people routinely do not have access to clean water, let alone drinkable. Yet, every day I see concrete being watered as inept sprinklers fail to spray the precious liquid on grass that will never stay green anyway.

Even in the massive metropolis where I reside, there are stretches of highway that cut through open fields. But every time I travel them, I notice the open spaces are shrinking. ‘Land for Sale’ signs are the orange paint of meadows.

I recently saw a wild sunflower patch flattened. What replaced it? A parking lot for a hotel. Want to know how many hotels were already standing in a one block radius? Three.

I’m not against cities. I live in the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States. I throw no stones. Still, I think to most of us, this massive and invasive urbanization feels wrong. Humanity’s main problems stem from choosing hubris over harmony.

Planting a tree is reaching a hand out to Mother Nature. I just hope she’ll take it.

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
-Chinese Proverb

Get 10 free trees from the Arbor Day Foundation
Apply for tree seedlings from the National Wildlife Federation
Learn how to plant a tree


12 thoughts on “Blooming Society Sunday

  1. It would warm my heart to see more urban areas actually figuring out how to combine natural planting with artificial development. I remember this paved exercise trail I used to jog along in Florida. To the left and right of a section there was a long line of tall trees which shaded people from the sun. The chaotic angles of branches and leaves combined with the orderly line of trunks to form what probably ought to be a holy communion.

    Last year, a tree fell over after being knocked around by a strong wind. It was an old tree, but not ancient (probably around 40 or 50 years old). Trees frequently live longer than people. While it’s sad that the tree is gone, if you plant a new one, then it has a good chance to remain for a while. Even in your passing, you’ll have something you’ve contributed still living.

    1. P.S. Madalyn, thank you so much for your very kind and encouraging review on Amazon. I had no idea you were going to do that, and I appreciate your quietly offered support greatly. In the unlikely event that you may at any point want a gratis physical copy of the book for any reason, you only have to ask. Personally, I find eBooks to be abominations! H ❤

  2. We have a phantom planter around here. We live in a really green area with streets connected by well-established mini-parks, meaning you can get everywhere in this urban village via the park system. It’s nice, but someone (no one knows who) comes along in the night and plants plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, you name it, he/she has planted it… all over. Just yesterday I was out in the bush walking my dogs and along that way someone has buried their dog, complete with a headstone. It’s a nice thing, far better than calling the council and having your family member taken away in a plastic bag. Any way, passing “Pharaohs” grave yesterday and I saw the phantom planter has ringed his grave with 4 plants. I know its the phantom planter because he/she stakes the young plants with broom handles and lays stones around the base.

    One day I hope I find out who this person is. I’d like to shake their hand.

  3. I get confused when, here in my Parisian suburb, they just chop down the trees with only some of them being replaced with sickly saplings. In other places I’ve lived, older trees were protected and the only option developers would have was moving them a short distance.

  4. I love how you called them a cathedral. Have you seen the pics of the outside church in New Zealand? I know you’re an atheist (and after reading your older posts about your childhood I understood why completely) but it’s gorgeous. I’d love to go there someday (even though I’m agnostic – I don’t have your conviction yet!). Here’s a link I found: http://katykelleher.com/2015/07/12/get-outside-and-worship-in-the-tree-church/

    Oh, and because you already know how very much I love your blog, I nominated you for the Infinity Dreams Award, here: https://thegeekoutlet.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/infinity-dreams-award/

    1. Love that!

      I can’t tell you how giddy it makes me feel that you were thinking about the novel. ❤
      I’m not sure when I’m going to release the next chapter. I’ve been so caught up in homeschool and writing some other things that I haven’t given it much thought. You’ll be the among the first know! 🙂

      1. Good, because I am genuinely interested to see where everything goes. Struggling at the moment to find something good to read. Am back reading Reeds, The Great Ship, again, for about the 7th time 😉 Also reading Hariod’s book, which is great, but has to be taken in bits, digested, re-read, then re-digested just make sure I’ve paid her awesome writing its due.

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