Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
The best friend on earth of man is the tree: When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources of the earth. Frank Lloyd Wright
The book club met on Tuesday and we had a lovely evening. Not all of our members could attend some have kids’ activities that take priority and one will be able to attend our meetings now she’s moved closer. We shared pictures of one member’s daughter’s destination wedding and talked about vacation plans and how important friendship is in our lives. Last month we got a new member who is a wonderful addition to our group.
Reading books is hard for some of us to get done, and I find myself in that group, but this morning I made a pledge to make an effort to read the books. One of our members sent a picture of the group to her son and he commented on the glaring absence of books. The glaring absence of books or not the book club feeds a need we have for friendship.
On Saturday the Horticultural Society is having a plant sale and a friend and I will attend. I have a sign on my lawn advertising the sale, my friend and I laugh that as Horticultural members we should have better gardens. At our last meeting, the speaker talked about providing plants that pollinators like, and how the bug population has decreased dramatically. We need to create urban forests and gardens; there is a movement to plant native flowers on boulevards to provide corridors for pollinators to be connected.
Some believe that greener cities are safer cities. Don’t we love the neighborhoods with lovely trees and gardens, what if every neighborhood regardless of income could be lovely? What would it take, how much would it cost, and what would the benefits be?
One of my friends started a boulevard garden last year. Boulevard gardens will become more popular than grass boulevards I predict over time, but how much time, we’ll have to see. We are beginning to realize the cost of lawns is not just in the pesticides used but also in the sterility they produce. Most of us don’t live in nature but we can bring a bit of it into our backyards, front yards, and boulevards with trees, shrubs, and plants other than grass. Of course, grass is better than no plants at all.
Love is flower-like: Friendship is like a sheltering tree. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I often think of growing up on a farm with wide spaces to ride my horse. How blessed I feel to grow up how I did. My choices took me far from the farm, but I treasure that time.
The greening of cities has probably been an interest of many since we began to live in cities. Most of us want our little oasis, a place to relax, reflect, putter around, and beautify. Reading a book in the backyard is one of the joys of life. Listening to the bird’s chirp, a squirrel or two running along the fence, and the sun shining with a cup of tea is pure pleasure. Sitting with friends or family in the backyard and sharing a bite to eat feeds our stomachs and soul.
When I first moved to Toronto, I lived beside a golf course, where there was a break in the fence and a small stand of trees I could sit in. I enjoyed sitting there alone with my thoughts and the energy of the trees. I missed trees after moving here, having been surrounded by trees my whole life, and finding some trees to spend time with fed my soul.
Now the trees we’ve planted over the years have grown up, they might be a little wild and unkempt for some, but I love the privacy they have created and the opportunity to view trees from the kitchen window.
This is our life; we need to bring things into our lives we enjoy. If we love trees, plant a tree, and even if we don’t have a garden, maybe we can find a space with a tree we connect to.
We should make time in our busy lives for friends, old friends, and new friends. Mom, at 98, is still making new friends, and I think we can always widen our circle. If we don’t include new people in our lives, our circle will get smaller and smaller. Some day we might not have busy lives anymore, and we will have more time for friends, but wouldn’t it be sad if we have the time for friends but no friends?
Do like trees: change the leaves, but keep the roots. So change your ideas, but keep your principles. Unknown
Friendship is a tree to take shelter from the storm, to find shade from the blazing sun, to climb its branches to get a better view, and to swing from when we are happy. Sir David Baird
Be as useful as a tree! Give life to others; be shelter to everyone; grant fruits to all! Be good like a tree. Mehmet Murat Ildan
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