How to survive in a troubled world without involving faith, organized religion or witchcraft could just be having the willingness to hug a tree. Sometimes, we need to push our reset button and identify with natural self-love to carry on and harness the universal strength that lies inside each of us. Although the tree bark is hard and scab-like to the touch, and even though the tree cannot wrap its strong limbs back around you, you must imagine the tree – that which protects us from the elements, witnesses the ebb and flow of time, and remains resolute despite all the storms. Research shows that trees are good for your health since all of us are connected to the earth and breathe in their cleansed oxygen. Trees are similar to animals, in their ability to help us regulate our blood pressure. Greenery and gardens can make us feel mellow or happy, even during depression. We really are one with the earth and sometimes intentionally recognizes that can change our whole mindset.
As an urban person, I experience nature-deficit disorder at times and if the pressure of life becomes untenable, there is always a walk through a botanical garden in Anywhere, USA. If I travel and have the blues, I look up the nearest gardens. Do yourself a favor, try it and breath in whatever is blooming, look at the juxtaposition in flower colors, observe the direction leaves dance (it’s like a well-tuned orchestra out there in our green world). You may think hugging trees is a hippy’s folly, but give a tree credit since they actually have life-sustaining abilities. There is something about a lush, green environment that fills in the gaps during depression or anxiety. Our bodies and trees are connected and it has nothing to do with prayer or religion. It’s how nature intertwines with people and how we become imbalanced without having green space. As I watch cities grow like crazy, I see trees bulldozed down to make room for subdivisions and shopping centers. I can hear those trees cry knowing they will have no history soon. Trees are rooted in the ground for a reason – to calm us, live among us and provide shade and coolness. Think of a tree absorbing your worries and stresses while taking in the calm they give us. Why do they do that? Just because we humans are in rhythm with nature and like a sponge, trees soak up our worries.
Trees convey spiritual significance in all religions and has nothing to do with your faith. There is no building involved or organized religion or money to be made with trees. They are universal to all, just don’t eat the fruit from the wrong tree! Like us, trees can also be dangerous. They need a defense mechanism, too, so best to avoid their fruit unless you know it and don’t stand under their lofty branches in a thunderstorm.
Personally, what I love so much about trees are they have no connection to race, religion or gender. That bark and those flowing leaves are a no-judgment zone and ready for a big hug. In Iceland, citizens are told and encouraged to hug a tree due to Coronavirus since they have to practice social distancing. So, there you go, there must be some therapy to trees protecting us and reducing stress. They give us our happy place.
We have to be good citizens of the world to trees. We have a one-sided relationship with trees in that they give the most love and we experience the beauty they bring to the world. They cannot speak and insist we not cut them down, we must advocate for them. They balance our atmosphere; they give us food. The older and more gnarled they become, the more beautiful, so they teach us about age. They have been our companions for centuries and they force us to look upwards into the sky, not always looking down. They take care of us and don’t want us to miss anything. There is never any such thing as too many trees. We must embrace them and if you hug one, you might just feel a slight vibration. They are on this earth to give back and want nothing in return.