Trees and The Role They Play In Life on Earth

Trees - Buchan Park - Some trees surrounding the large lake in Buchan Park, West Sussex.
@Darkwing (21590)
February 13, 2008 8:15am CST
In the light of the beautiful weather we've been experiencing over the past week, in England, and my inability to get out, I have been looking out of my window and contemplating the importance of trees in our lives. What thoughts do you have on trees? Here are mine, for you to ponder.... So often, the constant presence of trees and the important role they play in our lives and survival, are taken for granted by us mere mortals. Since time immemorial, trees have been a vital nurturing force in our evolution, benefiting our environment, providing us with medicines, and inspiring myths and legends from times long ago. Their serenity and beauty provides seasonal character to the landscape and peaceful refuge from the demands of daily living, in providing us with a wall of shelter from the sweeping snow and winds of winter, woodland areas, in which we can quietly walk in Spring, a shaded spot in which to sit and watch the World go by, in the height of Summer, and a beautiful splash of natural, warm colours in Autumn. In fact, they depict the ever-turning, Wheel of Life. Not only is their cycle and beauty of import to us, but their necessity and role in our environment. Trees constantly cleanse and refresh the very air we breathe, by absorbing harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, which they utilise, releasing oxygen back into the air; and by filtering and trapping smoke, dust, and ash which pollutes our air, reducing the effects of global warming and enabling much of life on our Planet, to survive and thrive. In the instance of floods and heavy rainfall, trees again, work their magic. Not only do they absorb water, aiding flood prevention, but also help disperse rainfall over a more even area. By retaining water, trees help reduce the amount of silt and topsoil washed into our sewers and streams by excess water. Their fallen leaves hold moisture close to the ground aiding growth and trapping chemicals, preventing them being washed into our lakes and rivers, thus preventing water pollution. A number of trees provide us with nourishment in the fruits they bear, which contain vitamins, and others are a constant source of medicine for us. The first wheel was made from the wood the tree provides. Indeed, since Ancient Times, trees have taken an important place in history and folklore, including Herne the Hunter and the Oak, the Apple Tree in the Garden of Eden, the Cedar, dwelling place of the gods. Tolkien writes in his ’Lord of the Rings’ books, of large trees which greatly assist the forces of good, and trees are said to house various “Tree Spirits”, and provide many legends and tales of days long gone. In fact, trees provide the very paper on which this lore and legend is written. Trees attract birds, squirrels and other wildlife, and provide them also with shelter, protection and food. Wildlife which is not only important in our lives for survival purposes but sounds, and improvement to our natural landscape. What would life be without the ‘Dawn Chorus’, the mooing of cows and the bleating of the sheep; the sound of horses’ hooves as they trot past your home? The gambolling of new lambs in the springtime and the squirrels collecting their nuts, also gives us a moment of awe and wonder. So give a thought to trees and the role they play in our lives, for it is surely our duty to ensure that, as well as our ancestors and ourselves, it is important that our children and future generations are able to enjoy the benefits they give us.
3 people like this
8 responses
• United States
13 Feb 08
That was so beautiful Darkwing and I agree that all of us need to take the time to appreciate the beauty and the life giving qualities of trees. As a Pantheist, I have my daily "ritual" which consists of simply going to the door or the window in the morning, on my way to get my morning coffee, and just looking out at the tree covered hill across the street, or checking the back yard to see if my little squirrel buddies are out and about running back and forth between the walnut tree and the pear tree. Then I take a minute or two to contemplate the wonders of this tiny spec of dust in this vast Universe that we call Earth and my place in it. It keeps me humble knowing how insignificant we are in the big picture but lifts me up to know that I am a part of it all and always will be. Thanks Darkwing.
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@Darkwing (21590)
13 Feb 08
Hello, my friend. I haven't seen you around for a while. I hope life's treating you well and thank you for visiting and contributing to this discussion. I love your daily ritual :). In fact, it was something similar which inspired this post, as I injured my leg quite badly eleven days ago, and haven't been able to get outside in the beautiful weather we're having. However, each morning, I pull open the curtains, and look out on my garden and the field and trees beyond, where the progress towards Spring is very noticeable. Daffodils are starting to bloom, trees are in bud, and the Forsythia blossom is starting to open on the trees. The sheep are in the field, and the evergreens are as always. But, here and there, are signs of Winter still. There are several hips, still on the wild rose bush, and some trees are still quite bare. Then, I spot the birds, hanging on the nut dispenser and sitting on fence wires and hedges, singing loudly, announcing that Spring is here. I yearn to get out there and to be at one with Nature again. Still, it gives me a goal, and I'm grateful for that. Some time, perhaps you should consider that we are not as insignificant as you might feel, because we have been given the wondrous gift of Nature and the Elements to help us survive. If we were insignificant, what would be the point? We're here to contribute something, however small, towards preserving the Earth, as are all forms of life in the Universe to preserving theirs. And so... life goes on, and the Wheel turns. Thank you so much for lending your thoughts. I really enjoyed reading your response. Brightest Blessings my "significant" friend. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Feb 08
Thanks for the welcome back! Glad to be back. I chose to leave for a while because I had a bit of a stalker problem. Uuugh what a disturbing mess that was. I'm so sorry to hear about your leg injury! I hope you will be able to recover fully and get back to those long nature walks you love so much. I wish I had your beautiful view out the window. Right now, it's just plain cold here. When I got up this morning it was -8 degrees (-22 C) with a foot of snow and ice on the ground. I'm having to settle for just trying to stay warm. Can't see anything out the ice packed windows today and I'm not going outside unless I absolutely have no choice! LOL As far as our significance goes I don't for one minute think that we are insignificant to ourselves, to the Nature of Earth or to humankind. Just the opposite. We hold a unique place in this Universe. I was speaking more along the thought that in the vastness of the entire Universe, the Earth isn't even a pimple on a quark's behind, relatively speaking. If more people were humbled by the thought that we are totally insignificant to the Universe, the Universe will go on uninterrupted whether we exist or not, and that we are only significant to each other, I think we would find more ways to take care of each other and this tiny island we all share. Somewhere along the way we seemed to have lost that balance. I hope that makes sense. It's hard to explain your entire philosophy of life in a few sentences. If I ever write a book on my philosophy, I'll send you a copy, free of charge LOL! Take care my "significant" friend :D
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@Darkwing (21590)
13 Feb 08
Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that you had a bit of this stalker problem, and how disturbing it was. I hope you're well rid of them now, whoever they might have been, so that you can spend more time in here again. How are the incense sticks coming along, by the way? Any progress? My leg is improving. It still aches after a while, but today, I conquered my fears and managed to walk normally, without support, albeit slowly, to the kitchen and bathroom and back several times. I can't stand for much more than forty-five minutes, but I'm getting there step by step. I don't want to rush anything because I look forward to those lovely walks through the countryside that you mention, and don't want any setbacks. I've felt like a caged bird through this past week of blue skies and sunshine, and I ache to get back to normal, so easy does it. Wow, you do have it cold there. It's cold at night here and there's a ground frost in the morning, but during the day, it's been up to between 11 and 13 degrees Centigrade. So... not bad at all. I'd like to send you some sunshine to warm you through. :) Yes, I did understand what you were saying about our significance and agree, the balance has been lost along the way, but if we were all to pull together, we could reinstate that balance and live in a peaceful, wholesome World, as one. Wouldn't that be just great? I look forward to receiving my free copy of your book WHEN you write it, not if! Don't forget, I'm hanging on this and probably many others are too. Go ahead and get started on it, please, my friend. :) Brightest Blessings.
@academic2 (7011)
• Uganda
13 Feb 08
My native land of Northern Uganda has been at war for the last 20 years. I was cut off from my homeland for nearly 15 years. Last month I visited my homeland for the very first time in 15 years and couldnt hold my tears at the destruction that the war visited upon our homeland. Because of the forced displacement of populations into camps, most trees got destroyed to provide wood fuel for cooking. All the gigantic landmark trees I used to know as a child had been cut down by soldiers and the population in the Internally Displaced Camps. I wonder if these trees could have been protected if those destroying them knew just a little bit of the t roles trees play in making our lives happy and liveable which you have ably highlighted.!
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (91247)
• Marion, Kansas
14 Feb 08
One of our grocery store chains has a promotion of "Trees for Life", that, if we pay $1.00 or maybe it is $1.50 for a button or badge some might call it, they plant a tree in a third world country. A fruit tree, so that it benefits with shade and food and possibly a crop to sell as well. I always like when the new buttons come out yearly.
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@Darkwing (21590)
14 Feb 08
That's another idea for Academic, if he wants to promote the planting of trees in Uganda. Thank you, my friend.
@magica (3710)
• Bulgaria
13 Feb 08
They are gift from the nature, that`s true. But the trees are also a source of energy. And if we abuse or choice the improper tree, this influes our energy too.Some of the trees are calm and smoothing, other give us power. We just need to know more and to take more cares about the nature arround.
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@Darkwing (21590)
13 Feb 08
Hi Magica. Yes, it's quite true that some trees are a source of energy, and many other things besides, and wisdom is an all important factor of life, in all areas. Nature is the most important and treasured gift that we have been bestowed with, and an insight into how to utilise and protect this gift, is all important to our quality of life. Thank you so much for adding your thoughts to this discussion, with Brightest Blessings.
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• United States
14 Feb 08
Good Morning Darkwing and I'm sorry I haven't been around lately...my life at the moment is just quite messy and I'm trying hard to straighten it out and look forward. If you would write a book, I would surely buy it as your writings bring such a peaceful inner calmness to me. This was just plain and simply beautifully written. I absolutely love trees, and I have a stone-type talisman in my purse I carry around with the Tree of Life carved on it. And I do believe in Tree Spirits also and other little creatures of the forest, haha. Again you have brought out feelings and thoughts in me which I have forgotten about over the years, and I'm starting to think that I need to go back to that place in time where I had more inner peace. I don't know if you'll understand what I'm talking about, but just the way you described this discussion on trees, is the way I feel but could never put it in words like you do. It's all inside somewhere and gives me a warm feeling. My favorite vacations were camping with my daughters and having nature surround and envelope me with it's presence. I always told my kids I think in a past life, this is where I lived and loved every moment, in a cabin or cottage in a peaceful country setting. Thanks for bringing back some old memories, I feel all warm and toasty right now, haha.
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• United States
15 Feb 08
The Very Best Of Luck To You Darkwing! I would love to see you write a book on all your knowledge of the spiritual world. I'm sure it would come in many volumes but would certainly be worth it. I'm very skeptical on what I read, and so many people have different idea's on what it's all about, but you have a way of delivering the truth and it comes from deep within. I like that and believe.
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@Darkwing (21590)
15 Feb 08
Awwww, thank you, Kashmere. It will take a bit of time, but your encouragement is making me think about getting on with it. I appreciate that... huggggggs. x
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@vicky30 (4778)
• India
14 Feb 08
A very good description about trees Darkwing.All he points stated above are true.They are a part of nature.They give us protection from the hot and scorching sun.Also they release oxygen into the environment which human beings breathe.They also act as homes to different variety of birds.It also helps in soil erosion.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21590)
14 Feb 08
Thank you, Vicky, for your input. I hope more people take note who are not educated in the necessity of trees in our lives. Brightest Blessings.
@vicky30 (4778)
• India
16 Feb 08
Yes I think lot of people need to be aware about trees.Some people are cutting large forests and making it into a commercial,residential & business area.I think this is not right and must be stopped.This will preserve nature,greenery and wildlife in the forests.It will also help in global warming.
@Darkwing (21590)
16 Feb 08
I think sometimes, the cutting of trees in progress, can't be avoided Vicky, but I do think they should plant at least one tree, closeby, whenever they take one, which would balance the number of trees in the area and bring back the original number. If they're building a factory which will pollute the air, then the trees will cut pollution, so should be planted around the building. Ignorance is the main problem here, and greed. But what good is money without life's essence? Brightest Blessings.
@nilouette (635)
• Philippines
14 Feb 08
Trees are really important in our own survival. Tress can live without humans but human cannot live without trees. They give off the oxygen necessary for us to live. Hey, have a look at this blog if in case your not busy, www.earth-and-us.blogspot.com
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@Darkwing (21590)
14 Feb 08
Thank you, Nilouette. I've been to yor Blogspot and left a comment... I just love the blending of greens in there. At the moment, I figured you're just building but I will pop back from time to time to see how it's progressing. Well Done! Brightest Blessings.
• Philippines
15 Feb 08
Thanks! I appreciate it. I figured out, why not do something for our world and make a difference by starting a blog about how to have a greener future...
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@Darkwing (21590)
15 Feb 08
Why not indeed. A very good thought, if I might say. :)
@raydene (9875)
• United States
13 Feb 08
Honey, I love the trees and so does the company I chose to promote. http://www.shaklee.com/pws/library/flash/earthdaywangari.html http://www.shaklee.com/causes_miltrees.shtml Dr.Maathai is awesome.I would love to meet her someday. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox
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@Darkwing (21590)
13 Feb 08
Thank you Raydene... I have visited both those sites, having never heard of Dr. Maathai before, perhaps because her objectives are in North America specifically. However, I am constantly planting trees, particularly at Imbolc because it's relevant to our planting new seeds for growth in our lives. This year, I planted two more acorns, in the hope that they will grow as my initial one did. There are several species of tree in my garden, but this site has inspired me to go further afield, out into the countryside, and try the same there. :) If I can get out soon, now is the time to do it! Brightest Blessings, my friend, and thank you for your input. xxx
2 people like this
@raydene (9875)
• United States
15 Feb 08
No Sweets, She is planting trees in Africa and Shaklee gave her a ton of money to help...
@Darkwing (21590)
15 Feb 08
Oh wow! That's nice. I was pretty sure I saw that she was hoping to grow a green belt right across North America... my eyes are going now! lol. There's not much hope for me at the moment! I must get out. lol. xxx
@GardenGerty (91247)
• Marion, Kansas
13 Feb 08
I have not moved often, only twice in the last thirty-one years, and my first step is always to start planty trees and large woody shrubs. I live on Main Street, but the pizza delivery guy once said that it was like we were in the boonies. In the last several years there have been street widening projects that have required that many established trees had to be removed.This morning was sunny, and I really noticed how much I miss the trees. The trees in this town were always a big draw for me. We are proud of our trees and have quite a variety of them.
@Darkwing (21590)
14 Feb 08
Well done, my friend! It's sad that urban and road development means the loss of established trees, but in planting several yourself, you are making a stand for a healthy environment. I'm proud to call you friend! Brightest Blessings.