They give us shade on a hot summer day. They provide food and shelter for a vast community of animals. They filter the air and moderate the effects of environmental toxins. These silent leafy guardians are near us every day, and yet we quite often ignore them; we don't celebrate their beauty or learn from their steadfast presence. So today, on Arbor Day, we pay tribute to trees.
"On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called 'Arbor Day' at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting the largest number of trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. Arbor Day was officially proclaimed by the young state's Gov. Robert W. Furnas on March 12, 1874, and the day itself was observed April 10, 1874. In 1885, Arbor Day was named a legal holiday in Nebraska and April 22, Morton's birthday, was selected as the date for its permanent observance." (http://www.dfr.state.nc.us/urban/history_of_arbor_day.htm) The most common day for observing Arbor Day today is the last Friday in April.
In 1972, on the 100 year anniversary of the first Arbor Day, the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation was established to promote education about and conservation of trees. For more information about Arbor Day and to learn more about trees - their identification, protection, planting and care, visit the Foundation's website, http://www.arborday.org.
In celebration of the wonderful tree, let's read Ilan Shamir's insightful poem, Advice from a Tree, while we see how BBEST team artisans illustrate the beauty of our leafy friends.
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Earth, fresh air, light
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Remember your roots