July 29th – Celebrating Trees
Trees are worth celebrating every day of our lives. With every breath of fresh air we take, we can thank the trees. Today we celebrated trees for all their goodness and because it happens to be National Tree Day! This day has been created as a reminder to everyone of the importance of trees for the wellbeing of our whole world and each of us who live on earth.
We shared the reasons that each of us believe that trees matter…
Trees are beautiful.
They give us fresh air.
They are fun to climb.
They are part of nature.
They connect the earth to the sky.
They can be like a friend to us.
In our acknowledgement of Country today, we remembered how the Aboriginal people who lived here before us cared for the land and cherished trees. They not only knew the importance of trees but also believed that some trees were sacred – that is, they had special meaning and were part of their sense of home and part of their story.
Trees can have special meaning to any of us for different reasons. A tree might remind us of special times, we might have favourite trees to rest beside or play in, we might have places we like to visit that are beautiful because of all the trees.
We shared a stories and memories of our favourite trees. Children recalled:
Sitting in a favourite tree to watch the sunset.
Giving trees at home a name.
Going to places with lots of trees.
Hugging a tree and getting some white marks from the bark.
Climbing really high and hoping not to fall.
The smell of leaves when you crush them.
The sound of the wind in the trees.
Making a tree house to play in.
Feeling like a familiar tree greets us when we arrive somewhere.
After some relaxing yoga that included tree poses and other nature inspired moves, we shared the story of ‘The Tin Forest’ (by Helen Ward & Wayne Anderson). The book tells the story of a old man who collected rubbish to clean up the world and turned much of the junk into a forest – but it was a tin forest. He was sad that there nothing alive and growing. But one small thing happens, and it leads to great change – and a real, live, colourful forest once again grows.
One of the ways that people add colour to trees is decorating them with wool – wrapping knitting around their branches and trunks both for colourful fun and to add warmth in winter. These woolly trees are at our National Arboretum.
We did some different kinds of simple knitting and plaiting with wool so that we could all wrap a tree somewhere as a message of care for trees and celebration of all they give us.
Our other art and craft activities this afternoon celebrated trees in different ways. We made little trees, coloured and decorated with leaves, flowers and birds…
We made small banners with poems and pictures that celebrated our love of trees and how they inspire us…
We concluded our afternoon by sharing the story of ‘The Memory Tree’ (by Britta Teckentrup). This poignant tale reminds us that love lives on in all situations and that memories can be held in many places – and in particular, trees can hold special memories. and symbolise many important things, even those things that are dear to our hearts. We affirmed that we would notice trees during the week, remember their importance and enjoy all that they offer us.