The term "tree hugger" is a put-down, most often meant to slam environmentalists. But have you ever actually hugged a tree? There's nothing shameful about it.
Last night as I was checking on an out-of-town friend's house I noticed a grove of trees in the backyard. It's not like I've never noticed these particular trees before but for some reason they drew my attention as I locked the door after giving the place a once-over.
The Yukon's most common trees are evergreens - spruce, pine & fir - but we've got loads of birch, poplar, willow, cotton wood and aspen trees, too. When you fly here, what you see out the window are mountains and trees. And trees. And more trees.
The trees in my friend's yard, the ones that called to me last evening, are aspen and they are massive, perhaps 100 feet tall. There are five or six of them and they're clustered together in a group. They've always looked to me like a gang of best friends, standing close and sticking together come what may.
In summer they are magnificent, shining white trunks and full heads of bright green leaves. In winter, well, since the backyard is not a big gathering place in the cold and dark months I'd never even looked at them in winter.
But last night, something drew me to them and I noticed for the first time that one of the trees stands alone from the others. It is the biggest tree of them all, its body just that much thicker than its nearby mates. This big baby was dying for a hug, I could tell.
Crunching through the snow I made my way over to greet the tree, it's tight bark covered in a frosty glaze. I wrapped my arms around it and held it close. The trunk was the perfect size for hugging, not to skinny, not too wide. It's body was firm, straight and strong, and yet it yielded to my touch.
I could actually feel the power of the tree's energy. Talk about a force of nature! That Force was like, pulsing into my body. I walked away feeling like I'd just downed a shot of Pure Love.
So I am a tree hugger in the most literal sense of the word. Unashamed and the better for it.
Inspiring Message of the Day: Hug a tree. There's great power there. Besides that, they like it.