• Jolene Roehlkepartain

Follow the Wisdom of the Trees

During these trying times, look to the trees and forests. “We have nothing to fear and a great deal to learn from trees,” Marcel Proust says.

When storms dump snow on evergreens, the trees bow and flex until the snow falls off. They don’t carry the weight (which would snap their branches), they bend and release.

Let go.

Trees also care for each other. When wind storms whip through the trees, the trees bend in the same direction at once. But then they swing back, one by one, hitting each other and reducing the impact of the wind. They buckle with the wind while sheltering each other in their own, unique way, buffering other trees from the stress caused by the gusts.

Care for each other.

Trees not only support each other above ground but also underground. Trees cooperate with each other through subterranean fungi and microbe networks. They feed each other. They communicate with each other. The root networks not only stabilize the soil but also enrich it.

Support one another, even in the smallest of ways.

“Ancient forests achieve the fullness of life with tens of thousands of interwoven and interdependent species,” writes Peter Wohlleben in the Hidden Life of Trees. Even if we feel alone, we are not. We are part of a larger community, a community we can nurture and continue to build.

We’re stronger together.

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