Trump Needs To Go Hug A Tree
A walk in the woods would do the whole world a lot of good, if the right person takes the time to learn the wisdom of the trees.
Hillary Clinton went to the woods to escape deliberately. Whatever you think about her, she is smart when it comes to this extremely simple common sense activity. She knows, both as a mother, and a human being, that nature heals.
Somehow, Clinton understands that trees will be there for her. Perhaps they are the only non-judgmental living sentinels from whom she gathers wisdom and strength. That trees allow human beings to breathe, in addition to providing food, clean water, homes, furniture, paper, healing, and much more, is something Clinton and her family understands.
Trees are also busy each day, stretching toward heaven on ever diminishing, smaller tracts of land. They seem to reach for redemption for those who would discard their fruits of the knowledge of good and evil. For this heroic work, mitigating the dangerous levels of carbon we pump into the atmosphere each day, trees do more than double duty absorbing all the polluting CO2 that we allow them to take.
A tree will also heal, and offer lessons of wisdom, often just by being there. Ecopsychology has well-defined this usefulness of trees, as has almost anyone who has ever really spent time among them.
It brings one to wonder about Donald Trump. Has he ever seen a tree, other than in the manifestation of a crooked business contract, or ill-gotten payments to Trump University or investment write-offs? What about the rest of the Trump family? Has any one of them ever displayed that any sanity-creating benefits of nature have influenced their activities? Well, we know he has used ‘furniture shopping’, or re-constructed dead trees, as a kind of seductive bribe. Nature interactions beyond pelts of dead animals worn as luxury status symbols, or trophies seeking to compensate for some extreme insecurity, also come to mind. But nothing suggesting an understanding of intricate, and miraculous symbiosis appears to come from this family.
There are thousands of reasons people offer to explain Trump. Probably each, and every one of those reasons wrap around gelatinous, orange nuggets of truth. But this one is Yuge.
I submit that due to extreme nature deficit, Donald Trump simply does not realize that life on Earth is given to him by plants, and the whole of the interconnected biosphere. He cannot comprehend cooperation rather than domination. He does not see the forest — for the trees are largely missing.
There are people on the planet who think the planet was put here at their command. But the Earth does not belong to us. We, as Chief Seattle said, belong to the Earth.
Human beings raised to respect, revere, protect, and defend nature, and humanity, by extension, grow up sane. They also grow up smart. They grow to understand that as Einstein said, one can understand everything better if you look deeply into nature. Let’s not examine the whole Cosmos and Multiverse, which is magnificent, humbling, and instructive. Let’s just look at some people and trees.
Buddha found enlightenment beneath a Bodhi tree. Noah found a promise of nature returned with an olive branch, Jesus Christ offered salvation upon an olive wood cross, Isaac Newton is said to have discovered the laws of motion beneath an apple tree. Trees surround the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington DC. “Riven deep by the sharp tongue of the axes,” Walt Whitman heard the great Redwood tree’s dying breath. Rachel Carson warned of a “silent spring” due to over-use of DDT on Elm and other trees. Bringing attention to the death of robins, other birds, and their songs, Carson is credited with launching the Ecology movement that now defends trees and life itself, from even greater polluters.
George Washington is said to have learned about being honest from trees, specifically a cherry tree. But POTUS number three; Thomas Jefferson was a naturalist, who created Monticello (little mountain) within a forest that both inspired and soothed. In his book, A Passion For Nature, author Keith Thomson recounts the many ways that Jefferson was informed by trees and other plants.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “What is sour in the house, a bracing walk in the woods makes sweet.” Yet this is only one gem from Thoreau among many. Few of us can think, of late, of a more soured White House, but reportedly, Spicer shrinking into the shrubbery is the only nature connection we have heard about from the present administration.
“There can be nothing in the world of more beauty than the Yosemite…” Theodore Roosevelt said of his trek with John Muir among the giant sequoia groves of California. John Muir advised that “Going into the woods is going home.” This being just the most pithy of Muir’s many praises sung to nature.
Donald Trump should be made to camp out in the real world. He needs to know it exists. He needs to know that only cooperation with natural systems, keen observation, sustainable efficiency, and above all a self-examination with humility and gratitude allow our presence here at all. He needs to know there are birds, not just tweets. There is fresh air (somewhere) not just swamp gas. He needs to know nature’s numbers, not just crowd size numbers. He needs to see outside the beltway, not just inside the bubble. He needs to know every morsel he eats came from nature, not from chefs or menus. He needs to know that women and men, as well as birds animals, and insects, are the farmers of the Earth, and that work done to benefit the whole is even more important than learning to sign one’s name.
Above all he could use the lessons of the accumulated wisdom of every human being collected, from Socratic ignorance to Jane Goodall’s recognition “…of a greater spiritual power…that is very, very strong in the forest.”
That wisdom shared by poets, musicians, artists and scientists is of even greater value than the highest paying special interest entity he admires, or of every dictator that fell for the glory of populism only to fall with their reichs and empires into infamy.
The president could wake up wiser. He is making choices that influence our planet in regard to pollution, economy, poverty and resources, oppression and exploitation. The severity of the climate refugee situation has only just begun. There are green energy and infrastructure jobs which we badly need. Trump needs to experience, first hand, the actual reality that only science and natural law can reveal.
If he listened to the voice of the Earth that sweeps through forests, burbles over rivers, shines atop mountains, calls with the owls, and whispers in the dawn, he could do a much better job at being an actualized, person.
Muir warned against worshiping the almighty dollar rather than the almighty God of the mountain. Science, scripture, and poetry have all examined nature quite thoroughly and come to the same solid intelligence: Nature matters.
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