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  • Writer's pictureMartin Ford

Trees Connect Us All ~ Top 20 Benefits of Trees

We're continuing our countdown of favourite ways that trees benefit our health and our communities.

#6. Trees Connect Us All

As children we are drawn to the wonder of trees and that wonder stays with us in all our years. And so, as adults, when we watch children run and play, ask questions and sound so full of life when they are around trees, so too, we older ones are enabled to clearly recall our pleasure at being in the healing presence of trees. Trees are a fundamental connector across generations and cultures. The wonder each of us feels around trees is without words – and thus easily shared. The pleasure each person is aware of isn't constrained by one’s attempt to explain how they feel. Without striving for words, we simply accept their presence and their beauty as the child in us did. Even when our childhood is deprived of time spent around trees – because of living in cities or climates such as deserts – we still know the feeling of wonder when we first ‘meet’ a tree. We don’t forget the potential that trees bring to transform our world. 'Visiting them' -because they are far away or few in number nearby- becomes part of balancing out the stress and limits on our emotions from the academic and industrial world. There are nations that speak of ‘healing forests’ – Japan, Germany, Korea, Austria and Ireland. Others such as Bhutan and Costa Rica, who still have their original 'montana', describe parts of their land as untouched and recovering natural areas. The word 'montana' describes the land, plants and animals as a oneness; that each part is connected. The word ‘forest’ to Costa Ricans is a plantation of trees, usually a monoculture which will be cut down for production of high-quality wood or produce palm oil – and its ability to give pleasure is limited to that 'function' only. People do not go to these ‘fields of trees’ to wander and wonder, nor does the rest of nature. Wonder is not our first response. If we see Trees as healers, we will give them the respect we give the medical profession – children will grow up with their healers and adults will walk amongst their canopies in awe without words.

by Martin Ford


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