Trees & Insecurity (vol. 2, no. 7)

Here are a few things I’m sharing this month

1. Question I’m living with:

  • “How are we to find security and peace of mind in a world whose very nature is insecurity, impermanence, and unceasing change?” – Alan Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity p. 75)

2. Quote I’m considering:

  • “Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobler’s trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar’s garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)

3. Poem I’m pondering:

 “Locust Trees in Late May” by Ted Kooser

 Two of them, sixty feet high, with trunks as big around
 as fifty-gallon barrels, lean at a corner of the house,
 sprinkling their tiny green bur-like flowers
 over the deck and during windy thundershowers
 dropping their sprigs of leaves, delicate as ferns.
 Just weeks ago they hummed with thousands of bees,
 a sound like a huge refrigerator left in the sun.
 When they were young they had fierce black
 two-inch thorns, but they have since grown old
 along with us and have tired of defending themselves.
 Just now a nuthatch flits back and forth to the feeder,
 hiding sunflower seeds in the bald, wrinkled bark, 
 and somehow a clump of grass had taken root 
 in a sap-damp crotch six feet above the ground.
 Autumn is still a whole summer away, but it will come,
 and with it great showers of copper locust leaves
 like pennies, but oval-shaped, more like those pennies
 a man at a carnival many years ago rolled through
 a little machine on the tailgate of his truck
 that pressed the Lord’s Prayer into them. Each of us
 got only one, but these trees give us many. 

4. Something inspiring:

In 2019, researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that American cities need 40% tree coverage to get relief from urban heat. Along that line of thought, here are two inspiring organizations:

  • Tree Equity Score – type in your zip code, get a map of tree coverage in your city, and see your city’s Tree Equity Score.
  • Afforest – a forest production company in India that builds native forests using the Miyawaki method.

5. New blogs:

  • Outstanding 8th Grade Boy – “I got away with something that day that I should not have gotten away with. And, after that day, I would go on to perfect the art of being the good boy.”
  • B but Leave – “I stormed into the classroom fifteen minutes late and fired up. They needed an ultimatum. So, I pulled a Zappos.”
  • The Deer – “I feel myself getting pulled back into the rhythm of the natural world and its churning. Its determination to destroy what it has created just to create what it will destroy.”
  • 20 Saddest Country Songs of All-Time – when I don’t know what to do I make lists.

If you’re reading this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues hereview lists of poems, questions, quotes and songs I’ve shared before here, and subscribe here.

Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn