An Improvised Ode to Trees
O Trees, how do I love thee?
I love thy fruits: apples, pears, coconuts, and oranges.
I love thy leaves: they provideth us with shade on hot summer days, their rustling sings to us on breezy days, and their color guard in fall is without parallel.
I love thy barks: Root Beer…enough said.
I love thy roots: they holdest together the soil and preventeth erosion.
I love thy branches: they providest homes for the birds and iguanas, children climb them and create memories.
I love your boughs: they are the stuff from which we build our homes, schools and shules.
I love thy pulp: there is nothing like holding a paper book in one’s hand, and without thee there would be no toilet paper (only leaves–from you as well!).
I love your photosynthesis: I do not know how thou dost it, but thank thee for thy oxygen-producing nature.
O Trees, how do I love thee? Thy manifold beauty and purpose is beyond sufficient praise. I will show thee my love by vowing to forever safeguard you.
This coming Sunday evening and Monday, we celebrate Tu Bishvat, the New Year for Trees. It is a kind of “fiscal year” described in the Mishnah to help us observe the mitzvah of not eating tree produce during the first three years they bear fruit. More recently, it has become a day to honor trees, plant trees, and work to preserve our environment.
We have messed up our planet. I am not sure what can save us…but I think trees may have the answer…and they might be the answer.