hole you can and put the little tree in.
Then you pour in lots of water and then the dirt.
You hang the shovel back in the garage.
Every day for years and YEARS
you watch the little tree grow.
You say to people, “I planted that tree.”
They wish they had one so they
go home and plant a tree too.
from: A Tree is Nice
by Janice May Udry
pictures by Marc Simont
This Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April every year. I remember when I learned that trees breathe out oxygen and need carbon dioxide to live. Mother Nature is clever like that! For me, trees are the intersection of solid stability (sturdy as an oak) and gentle fragility (as dependent on their environment as we are).
When we were growing up, my sister and brother and I had our own tree. His name was Charley. He lived in my grandparent’s side yard. Charley was really big, but I don’t know what kind of tree he was. We used to feed him berries we found on the hedge next to where he lived. We’d gather the berries in our cupped hands and go looking for a stick with a flat end. We’d squash the berries into Charley’s trunk. I’m sure he liked them. I knew that’s what kept him so strong for so long, even though my mom made sure we knew the berries were poison for people, especially children.
Sometimes when I was allowed to go outside by myself, I’d feed Charley a few berries and plop down next to him and listen to birds, wind, the trolley that clackered in front of the house taking people to work or home or for a visit somewhere.
When I was first married, an enormous white dogwood tree lived outside my trailer. In full-bloom, that dogwood took my breath away.
My first house in Youngstown sported a young dogwood. This pink one was no less beautiful, but so small. It looked delicate, but I knew better. Forty years later, it’s a big, big tree.
When my girls were small, our neighbors had a wonderful climbing tree in their backyard. My older daughter spent most of her summer in that tree. Reading, watching, thinking.
Earth Day Network set a goal to plant or inspire the planting of 7.8 billion trees worldwide—one for every person projected to be on Earth on Earth Day, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
And we can each do something. Get an idea at their website: http://www.earthday.org/take-action/ and let me know what you think.
-stay curious! (and active)