“I think that I will never see
A poem lovely as a tree.”

Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “Trees,” expresses the beauty and majesty of trees. As a child, I held a fascination for trees and wanted to hide in them all day. I can’t explain the mystical aura that surrounds the branches reaching out to touch the sky.

Some of the people of Madagascar consider the iconic baobab trees sacred. Some believe the spirits of their ancestors live in the forests.

Near the lake behind our home, we have a black willow that stretches wide. The limbs and leaves flow gently in the breeze and protect a wooden swing from the evening’s setting sun. We call it the conversation tree.

The bark of some willows contains salicin, a chemical similar to aspirin. In the time of Hippocrates, people chewed the bark to relieve pain.

Trees provide more than beauty. They clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide. Natural filters, trees can absorb odors and pollutant gases.

Do you have a favorite tree? Mine was a huge fig tree in the backyard of my childhood home. I would climb into the arms of two large branches and spend hours imagining that I could stay hidden forever.

Hidden in the Tree

She sat in the tree
miles above the ground
or so it seemed to be.

Birds fly ‘round on high
wondering who came
and her giving a sigh.

You can’t see the girl
looking down below
as leaves fall in a swirl.

Her heart flies away
gliding in the wind
clutching the branch so tight.

―Kathryn LeRoy

“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that?

Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.”

Munia Khan

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

Photo: “The Tree” by Kathryn LeRoy