A Christmas Gift for Trees

Juniper tree along a canyon pathway

Juniper tree in Simon Canyon, NM

While taking a stroll through your neighborhood, wouldn’t it be fun to give a gift to the trees that grow there?

This gift would cost nothing – except for the time it takes to do it. It wouldn’t take any supplies or any physical labor except for the walk itself.

What Christmas gift could you give the trees in your neighborhood that cost no money, took no supplies, and required no physical labor?

It’s one of the simplest and most profound things we can do. It’s giving the gift of appreciation.

How do you give the gift of appreciation to a tree? You do it by taking the time to stand on a sidewalk near some trees and focus your thoughts on one tree at a time. Notice the shape of the tree, how it fills the space it occupies. Think about all the things the tree does to make that space a little better because it’s there. In your mind tell the tree how much you appreciate it for what it is and what it does and how much better it makes you feel when you see it as you walk by.

Once you’ve spent a little time near one group of trees, walk on down the sidewalk to another place that has one or more trees. Repeat the process there. Focus your mind on one tree at a time. Really notice it. Then express your appreciation to it. You don’t have to speak a single word. Just send the thought of appreciation with your mind to the tree.

You can keep doing this for quite a while, or just spend a small amount of time on a few yards or empty lots around your neighborhood. If you spend five minutes or fifteen minutes or more giving this appreciation Christmas gift to the trees in your neighborhood, they will notice that you paid attention to them.

It’s a very simple gift. It takes only a little time. You don’t have to feel silly doing it, because you’re not saying anything out loud. If anyone seems to look at you strangely, just walk on by. You can still say silently in your mind, “Thank you, tree, for all you do.” You might even send it the silent thought of, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy holidays.”

When you get home, you will have benefited from spending time outdoors and enjoying the beauty of nature, especially the loveliness of trees.

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