These days where I live in the northeast USA are dry and hot in drought, so I look especially at the trees. Some are shedding leaves. I remember reading “The Hidden Life Of Trees, by Peter Wolhleben, Vancouver,Ca 2016”. Wolhleben began his career as a forester working for a German commercial firm harvesting lumber. Then he switched over to managing a natural forest in Germany and his whole approach to trees changed.
He began seeing trees, not from a human perspective — dollars and cents or how they fit around your homes or on your street—but from their place in the forest before we humans decided what they’re good for.
He finds that trees communicate with one another, among other things. They have a language all their own.They struggle and strategize and unite to form a glorious whole. Trees are parents helping their kids and kids helping their parents; well trees help the sick. Trees respond to the universe of air, water, and soil. They respond to a drought.
We humans can learn from them. Just go out your back door and see, Wolhleben says. So I’m watching the trees these days. The new trees we planted last year, the red oak and the American elm. The evergreens around our Mary Garden. The big oaks that have watched over us for years. They’re holding on these dry, hot days. So should we.
The Book of Psalms has an abundance of references to trees. The psalmists watched the trees and learned from them before Mr. Wolhleben did. I’m thinking now it’s our turn. We have to think differently about nature than we do.