It just so happens that this wet time of year is a time when we get a lot of young trees into the ground. When you plant a tree, you’re taking a long range view of things.
In thinking about Memorial Day, I reflect on the youth, drive, and promise of so many who serve our country in the US military. People like everyone else with families who love and depend upon them, but whom we also as a country depend upon, whose function or lives are always at risk of being cut short because of their service.
Like a mature tree in your yard, you start to take its lifetime of service for granted. The shade it provides, the buffer from road noise, the habitat for birds… You might not look at the tree every day but pass right by it, a mere obstacle. Part of the landscape.
After a severe storm or hurricane, when all of the trees have lost all of their leaves and we are faced with a blistering sun, we realize how important that large, strong, silent partner was in our comfort and health.
We have to take care of our trees, pay attention to and care for them more than once a year, be sure to plant new trees and appreciate them as well.
Our active military and veterans deserve no less for the service they silently, unerringly, dutifully provide us.
Next time you plant a tree, consider it a gesture of thanks to our silent and strong military and first responders. When you pass an old tree by in the yard or on the street, honor the spirit and strength of all those who serve. Consider it a reminder to give back, through your own active participation in a community where you enjoy many hard-won freedoms, including the freedom to discuss and organize to change large and small injustices.
Happy Memorial Day.