I have been engaged in a story telling project for a couple of years now. I interview women I know to learn about their experiences. This is a process which is teaching me a great deal. I see the stories I am collecting as fireflies in the night creating a web of lights helping me make better sense of the world.
I am soliciting all sorts of stories - stories that have been passed on from generation to generation, stories of books or movies which have profoundly touched my interviewees, stories about food, social justice, transformation. One question seeks to highlight the landscapes that have been most formative to the women I interview. Lately I've been wondering about adding one question aimed at talking about trees and the roles they play in our lives.
As Apples in Suburbia highlighted, trees have carved strong social, environmental, economic and cultural niches in our lives. They feed us, shade us, protect us, help us breathe. They mark significant moments in our lives. We plant trees at the birth of a child, or in memory of a loved one. We grow trees to beautify our environment.
Trees also embrace the various seasons of our lives. They often provide us with one of our first playgrounds. That was definitely my experience. To this day, the view of a stone pine takes me back to my childhood. Even a simple photograph of these beautiful giants brings back memories of their distinctive summer smell and the sticky tattoos they left on my body, whenever I attempted to climb their rugged trunks.
All of us have stories to share about trees. That's what Sheryl Loucks believes. She is soliciting stories about local trees to publish a Heritage Tree Book. Is there a neighbourhood tree that has special meaning for you? A guardian of family traditions or a symbol of your roots in this community? If so, you may be interested in writing your own story and sending it to Sheryl or, if you prefer, you can simply contact her and let her know that you have a story to share. She will call to interview you and write your story down. These collective stories will give texture to our arboreal heritage and provide us with a greater sense of the critical life-long legacy offered by trees.
Do you have a tree story you want to share? Do you want to add your voice to this beautiful community project? Then email Sheryl at email@example.com or call her at GreenUp 705-745-3238.