We are quickly approaching the time of the annual Winter Equinox. That date on our calendar corresponds to... and likely accounts for the practice our Christian celebration of Christmas... the birth of Jesus Christ, according to our Christian tradition. Symbolically... both events signal the return of Light to the earth after a long period of hardship and darkness and give reason for those who have been awaiting the Light's return to celebrate and give thanks.
The tree plays a central role in this annual Western World pageantry in almost every home. We decorate our trees with electric lights and shiny, colourful, reflecting decorations. earlier trees were adorned with small tapers to illuminate the houses... and fill the darkened world with Light. Yule logs were dragged into the homes and palaces of the rich with much pomp and singing to give warmth and light. Most modern homes are equipped with wood or gas -burning open fireplaces that become the centre for family gatherings.
Fire and heat... both initially being bi-products of trees... have drawn mankind from our first moments in history... into a dependent relationship with trees. While urban Westerners are less dependent upon trees and wood for these needs, rural areas are still partially dependent- and in other parts of the underdeveloped world they continue to be totally dependent for light, cooking and heat requirements.
Another aspect of our dependence on trees is focused upon our building and tool technological needs. We still frame and clad using wood... furnish and decorate with it and use it as a disposable natural resource for use as a commodity in trade with other countries whose supply of raw wood and lumber is unreliable, or non-existent.
So... we can rightly assume that trees will continue to be a valued and necessary partner in Mankind's pursuit of a sustainability of its presence here on this "Blue Planet". We will continue to depend totally upon the remaining forests of the planet to provide oxygen.... reduce carbon dioxide... and cover the bases in the many ways mentioned above... in all parts of the world... simultaneously.
As one of my regular readers mentioned in his comment, the old adage that he had grown from his youth hearing... still dumb founded and disturbed him... as it does "Me" as well.
"You can't see the forest for the trees." Think about that statement for a moment. What makes that so? "I" believe that Man arrogantly looks at all resources with a sense of collectivity. We look at the vastness and seemingly endless supply of trees... fish... water... minerals... atmosphere... species... with complete arrogance and disregard for the fact that each one of these seemingly boundless resources can be reduced... through arrogance and wholesale harvesting... to one.... then .... none.
We certainly accomplished it easily within less than one hundred years with the passenger pigeon... the bison... the Labrador Duck and if conservationist groups around the world are to be believed.... many single species are disappearing daily. No species or resource is limitless... nor can we afford to believe so.
We can make a difference individually... through better buying choices and use of resources... by educating our young and our neighbours through our actions and our willingness to speak out and assume an active role either together... or alone to change the flow of consumerism and unnecessary development through active and proper stewardship practices.
My question to "You"... in closing is a simple one really. Do "You" care enough to leave a rightful birth right for your children and grandchildren to enjoy in their lifetimes... or will we continue to squander it and take all of it to our graves with us?
Will "We... "pave Paradise... and put in a parkin' lot?" (Joanie Mitchell)
Paint a Tree... or a Forest of trees... for the world to "see"... and share it! Pass it forward!
Another folksy old "tree"truism: "The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree."
Think about that! What are your children and grandkids learning from your actions/inactions??? I wonder! Talk n' walk with them in forests. Introduce them to a tree!
This is my contribution from this week's plein air activity. "Birch Copse In Early Winter"- oil on canvas 24x20 inches.Yes... Winter has arrived here! Snow has fallen all day... every day for the last five consecutive days! Just in time for Christmas! Let it snow!
Good Painting to ALL!