Tales of a Tree

Written by Carissa Donahoo, Public/Mental Health Organizer

I am a tree. I have stood tall and strong for centuries. I have seen it all. From dinosaurs to the first human steps – to where we all are today.

I have seen and now know at least one thing for certain: the health of our planet has a direct impact on the health of the human. The more unhealthy our earth is, the more unhealthy humans as a species are.

I have seen how they pollute our air with their mega factories and forever changing vehicles, and I have seen how they choke on that air they have created. They say they have this thing called asthma and carry around these new mini devices. But their polluting habits won’t stop.

I have tried to help. I have tried to clean up their messy air, but there is only so much I can do. I am only one tree.

In more recent years, I have noticed humans staying at home more. Sometimes I glance into their windows and see these bright screens staring at them. Bigger than my large trunk, and smaller than my supple leaves. The humans seem hypnotized. Consumed.

They don’t say hello to me as much anymore.

I have lived near doctors and therapists – I hear them say words like depressed and anxious to describe how their clients are doing. Teachers have walked by and will describe their students with similar words, but also talk about their dwindling attention spans. I never heard these words decades ago.

No longer am I those children’s sturdy jungle gym, fort, or castle; no longer am I those adult’s resting spots – I am only a tree.

I have seen my nature friends come and go, with little to no changes in their evolution. The humans, however, have evolved to become larger, slower, and unhappier.

I think back to what must have been a lifetime ago for humans, and I remember so fondly a small child sitting in my branches reading to me her favorite book. In the end, she spoke, “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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