Love a Tree Day

Today is Love a Tree Day. I was drawn to this unique holiday for several reasons and I couldn’t have conjured up a better day for being outside and loving on a tree than this gorgeous spring day. The sunshine was plentiful and a strong breeze from the east cooled my skin while bringing incredible swirling energy to tease me. 

Love a Tree Day
Love a Tree Day is always celebrated on May 16. The purpose is to encourage people to get outside and show love and appreciation for trees and the benefits they provide. Trees give off oxygen. They provide shade, protection, beauty, fruit, and warmth. The huge maple tree that recently came down near my backyard has even provided wonderful, natural planters and simple garden stands for containers. 

Love a Tree Day
I do love trees. I am drawn to forests and a variety of individual trees and tree motifs. Walking among trees grounds and centers me. I have journals featuring trees on the covers, tree artwork, and jewelry with trees on it. I am surprised that the tree has not yet been a symbol for me during one of my themed years. I trust it will be, at the perfect time. 

Love a Tree Day
It was easy to find a tree to love on this afternoon. My favorite tree is the Redbud. In the spring brilliant red violet blooms adorn the branches of this compact tree. The leaves are heart shaped. And the tree maintains a lovely silhouette throughout its life. 

After watering containers and planting a couple of herbs in the garden, I sat in the swing beneath the Redbud Tree in my front yard. The sweet eastern breeze whipped my hair around and kissed my neck and cheeks, making me smile. The Redbud shaded me, its leafy boughs swaying in the wind. 

Love a Tree DayLooking upward into Redbud

It was so peaceful, sitting beneath Redbud’s green canopy. This tree survived the 2011 tornado that struck my Joplin neighborhood. Tragically, its companion on the other side of the yard did not. A six year old Redbud is growing taller each season where Old Redbud once stood. The tree sheltering me sustained damage, enduring twisted branches that have split. I am grateful each spring when the clusters of “red buds” appear, signifying life. 

Love a Tree Day
The teasing breeze…with its  high energy…raised my vibrational frequency and my awareness. An idea came to me, whispered in my ear by the tree. I looked at Redbud speculatively. Oh, I couldn’t, could I? I shouldn’t. Or should I?

I became a tree climber at the age of four. Okay I actually climbed everything, and I was especially fond of trees. I am at heart a loner. When I craved solitude as a child, I scampered up a tree…the higher the better. The neighborhood kids rarely followed me up a tree. I would sit cradled by bark covered arms, hidden by leaves, and daydream, think and reflect. 

Redbud’s invitation to me this afternoon was to climb. 

It has been many, many years since I climbed a tree. I turned the invitation over in my mind. Should I? The idea appealed to me strongly. However, I have a trip coming up next week. I didn’t want to risk an injury. I am healthy and fit. But I am no longer a child. 

How sad if on this day of showing love to my favorite tree, I refused its invitation to play. I climbed. 

Love a Tree Day
I loved being in that tree! How exhilarating. How mindful I was that a year ago, I wouldn’t have attempted such a feat, couldn’t have done so, physically. My inner child whooped with joy. My middle aged self smiled…and could have stayed, sheltered by Redbud, for hours. 

I am grateful for the invitation and that I accepted it. Seated on a branch, I sent waves of love to Redbud. The scars it bears are testaments of strength, endurance, and perseverance. They are beautiful. I hugged a rough branch and offered thanks. 

My grandchildren enjoy climbing this tree. I sent them the pic above, via my son and daughter-in-law’s phones. The kids responded with an Awwww and then asked their mom Why? 

Megan’s response? ‘Cause she can! 

That’s right! I can. And I did. I was invited. That’s all it took. 

Love a Tree Day

Day 7: Walking at Wildcat Glades Conservation Center in Winter



Wildcat Glades Conservation Center is just south of Joplin.  The Audubon Center is there also and there are paths to explore that parallel Shoal Creek and meander through the woods and climb up onto the bluffs.  I’ve walked there many times….in spring, summer and fall.  I’ve never walked there during  winter, and certainly not with snow on the ground.  It was not my intention to walk there today.  I had a different “first” picked out.  But the woods called to me, strongly.  I was considering changing my plans and driving to Wildcat when I opened a magazine and saw a header on the first page which read, “A Stroll through the Woods”.  I laughed.  When I picked up a second magazine and opened it to a little article called “Winter Meditation”, which was about walking mindfully in snowy woods, I said okay!  It seemed my first for this day chose me.

Still, I had a bit of trepidation about walking at the conservation center today.  Our side streets are still mostly snow covered and the road winding into the park goes downhill.  And it was 32 degrees out, which was much warmer than yesterday, but still chilly.  I layered up, donning wool socks, boots, mittens, stocking cap and a scarf and headed out, a bottle of water in one pocket of my hoodie and my camera in the other.  This year is all about pushing beyond what I feel comfortable doing, right?

I pulled into an untouched parking lot, not far from Shoal Creek.  Snow covered the ground…and the path!  After a few moments of searching, I found the path and headed toward the river.  Once there, two sets of footprints appeared, coming in from another path and disappearing into the woods….and coming back out.  A good sign!  I followed that trail into the woods.

It was beautiful!  I had the woods to myself. The snow softened the path and muffled sound.  There was only the gentle sigh of the breeze and dry oak leaves rattling on their mostly bare branches and off in the distance, a lone woodpecker attacking a tree.  It was peaceful and restorative and although the air was crisp the sun was shining and I was warm beneath all my layers.  After half an hour I headed back.  A huge oak tree near the path caught my eye and I rested both hands against it and closed my eyes, feeling the subtle hum of energy beneath my palms.  As I patted the rough bark and turned away, a strong breeze suddenly sprang up and all around me, trees swayed and their branches danced and tossed.  I laughed and waved goodbye to the trees as the trail left the wooded area and my car came into sight. It was a joyous, magical time.  I’m so glad I heeded the call.