Yesterday when I was out for an evening walk, happy that it was actually still light out at the hour I can head around the block, I encountered a tree-hugger. Literally.
I’d just rounded a corner where there is a grassy lot containing several towering trees. I saw a woman ambling there, and was caught a little off guard. This lot is always absent of activity.
I smiled out of friendliness, just as she moved up to one of the trees, and wrapped her arms around the trunk. It had to register, but then I nodded. I understood.
Oh…do they have to take this one down? I sympathized.
In that moment, I was guessing that the particular tree had caused some hazard, or was unhealthy. That happens sometimes. But then, with whatever few words passed between us, her also gesturing toward a sign on the property, I understood. Both the trees would be coming down. Someone was going to build.
The woman was saying farewell.
I wished her good evening, and continued on my way. But as I walked on, I gazed above, and for a moment, I thought I would begin to cry. These trees appeared magnificently old. Perhaps some several hundred years, for all I know. And they were beautiful. And then, I noticed woodpecker holes in the trunk of one, and I thought about how we so aggressively thin out habitat, for all wildlife.
I was humbled the rest of my walk. Thinking how this woman had cared, and hugged this tree, and said goodbye. And I was so sad for these noble, living things – when it wasn’t their time to go.
I encountered a tree-hugger. And from that encounter, I was reminded…
Love yourself, love one another, love every creature – and be thankful for your time…
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