“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
– Chinese proverb
The gift-giving season is finally over to the surprise (and delight) of many. The stress of trying to find something people probably don’t need is finally over. I’ll make it easy – next year, gift me a tree.
With age comes wisdom (in some cases) and with wisdom comes the understanding that material possessions start to mean less and less with the realization that life is not infinite.
If you gift me a tree, it’s something I can actively nurture and grow – something that will bring great joy to myself, to my wildlife and even to Mother Nature as it grows from a sapling into maturity.
Yes, trees do not come without their share of maintenance. There’s raking in the fall, pruning in the winter and battling insects and diseases in the spring and summer. While certainly not the most laborious of household chores, it’s easy to label trees as just another line item on an ever growing to-do-list.
But if you gift me a tree, it means something infinitely more.
Why gift me a tree?
Think about the reasons you might gift someone a tree. One of the best reasons I know of is in commemoration of a life event – both good and bad.
Like the new father, who was gifted a red leaf maple tree from his parents to commemorate the birth of his daughter. He envisions the tree growing tall and strong enough to hang a swing from its branches when his daughter is seven or eight years old.
He imagines picnicking under its shade and jumping in leaf piles in the fall. And when she’s all grown up and moved far away, he’ll look at that old tree and remember the day he planted it and why.
Or the young woman, whose mother recently passed away from illness, who was gifted a cherry blossom tree from some of her mother’s beloved friends.
While death often signifies and ending, this hearty, ever-blooming tree serves as a constant reminder of the beauty that remains. And each spring, as the colorful flowers explode and their fragrance fills the air, she remembers how much her mother loved the cherry blossoms and how much she loved her.
Lucy Larcom, an American teacher, poet and author, once said, “He who plants a tree, plants hope.”
And that is perhaps the greatest reason to gift me a tree – to plant a little hope at home. Hope for what’s imaginable and hope for better days ahead for all of us.
So, the next time you find yourself searching online for a gift for someone special, think about gifting them a tree.
They’re incredibly unique, they’re beneficial to the environment and they won’t wind up in a landfill or at a local garage sale when their usefulness has worn out.
And if you need another reason, who couldn’t use to plant a little hope for the future.