Hello from the Land of Blossoms! Aunt Linda here in Washington D.C. where cool breezes and cherry blossoms are as plentiful as political headlines. The nations capitol is at the very peak of a Cherry Blossom Bloom. These trees were a gift to the US from Japan, in 1912. What I hadn’t ever been aware of is that that these trees (along the Tidal Basin) are from a 1,500 year old tree in Japan. I felt a quickening of excitement as this news reached my ears. And I wondered if that that very tree might still be alive. I did a little investigating, and YES, it lives. Click here to see a photo of this ancient tree. http://taiken.co/single/japans-three-great-cherry-blossom-trees. I believe it is the second tree featured.
My appreciation of trees has grown exponentially.
In many ways they are unsung heroes. They offer so much to us, to wildlife, to the planet. Aside from their Beauty, they provide juicy fruit and nuts; nesting and roosting sites for birds and other wildlife. Pollen and nectar are exchanged for pollinating services of native and european bees, as well as a myriad of pollinators. Trees Purify Air. Create Shade. Take a hike through a forest and you will re-experience Silence. Trees drop litter that nourishes the soil below them. Here in D.C. the trees tower above with canopies of big leaves. In the Sonoran Desert most trees are smaller, and the leaves tiny – as an adaptive strategy to conserve water.
Trees can be a great reminder of the interconnectedness of all things. “The leaf takes from the air its richest food, and from the sun its most valuable property, and in silence changes them into things which our life could not exist.” (The Book of Knowledge, 1890, p3177)
Jut two days ago, an article in the American Forest article (3/29/16) speaks of the “Mutually Beneficial” relationship betweek trees and bees. “Although the cherry blossoms do not produce fruits, bees are still an important factor in their pollination. Bees also help to pollinate local gardens and plants, contributing to the flowers and greenery we enjoy in city parks and squares during the warmer months..
This week, I also I came across the woven bookmark( below ) in an old old bible, and was reminded that many homes in the US commonly kept used a hive or two. I learned this a few years ago, when I was sitting with 10 elder women, listening to their stories. All but one had grown up with a few hives at home. And almost all had “helped out with bees”, as young girls.
It looks like this practice may be coming around again. Even in the Nations capital. This is, for me, great news because both trees and bees interrelate with the environment in very beneficial ways.
An article in American Forests (3/29/16) states:
“Since beekeeping in D.C. has been legalized, the influx of new local beekeeping groups has been incredibly beneficial to the local environment.Bee hives can be found at several government agencies as well as in rooftop gardens in Georgetown and at The George Washington University”.
Want to feel more like an interconnected being, but not sure if planting a tree or keeping a honey bee hive is for you? You might consider “adopting a hive”. I just today found out about this and I kind of wish I had thought about it myself. Click: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/29/472183613/adopt-a-beehive-save-a-beekeeper
I do not have a recipe this week. Rather, an invitation: be inspired by a tree, and Take a Stand for something you care about. And like a tree, Offer something, that only you can give.