Celebrating our giant green friends on Love a Tree Day

According to various sources, today, 16 May, is Love a Tree Day. Not an officially sanctioned day like Arbor Day, for example, but any day drawing attention to trees has to be a good thing, right? Also, the problem with Arbor Day is that it’s a localised event, celebrated on different dates around the world, so there’s no single date for us all to get together and sing the praises of the mighty tree.

Until Love a Tree Day, that is.

So, this is a good time to again remind ourselves why we should all really go out every day and hug the trees around us; why we should feed & nurture them; and why we should not let an opportunity go by to plant a tree.

While today is a reminder to love all trees, let's also use it to celebrate the diversity of trees out there. And to remind ourselves of those trees that need particular protection from potential extinction. Pictured here is the beautiful Aloe dichotoma, or quiver tree (kokerboom), indigenous to Southern Africa. Different subspecies of the tree have been rated as 'vulnerable' (A. dichotoma), 'endangered' (A. ramossisima) and 'critically endangered' (A. pillansii) respectively on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (© All Rights Reserved)
While today is a reminder to love all trees, let’s also use it to celebrate the diversity of trees out there. And to remind ourselves of those trees that need particular protection from potential extinction. Pictured here is the beautiful Aloe dichotoma, or quiver tree (kokerboom), indigenous to Southern Africa. Different subspecies of the tree have been rated as ‘vulnerable’ (A. dichotoma), ‘endangered’ (A. ramossisima) and ‘critically endangered’ (A. pillansii) respectively on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
(© All Rights Reserved)

I’m sure you don’t need convincing of the value of trees. They support life by producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. They release groundwater into the air to help maintain a healthy ecosystem. They help reduce soil erosion and create a soil climate conducive to microorganism growth. Shade trees around buildings can greatly reduce air conditioning costs. Trees are a key provider of food products (fruit, nuts etc) supporting humans and animals. Thousands of products used in daily life are made from wood.

Trees also happen to include some of the oldest, and largest, living organisms on the planet. The giant sequoia tree (Sequoiadendron giganteum), for example, can weigh over 2000 tonnes and live to be older than 3000 years. That is pretty damn impressive, so say the least.

To go into detail about the value and importance of trees would go way beyond the scope of a humble little daily blog post. Suffice to say, they deserve your care, love and respect.

Support local tree planting initiatives. Support your local Arbor Day. Heck, make every day Love a Tree Day.

About life, personal challenges and celebrations

22 January is Celebration of Life Day. Where the day originated, or what exactly it’s original intent was, I am not sure, but I have no problem with the sentiment of it – the opportunity to be part of this roller-coaster ride called life certainly is something worth celebrating.

Of course how you choose to celebrate life is up to you – perhaps a party with loved ones, perhaps some personal quiet-time. I personally believe the best way is to do something that pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone, something that scares you, that makes life real and immediate again.

Nothing beats the feeling of setting - and achieving - a personal challenge.(© All Rights Reserved)
Nothing beats the feeling of setting – and achieving – a personal challenge.
(© All Rights Reserved)

It can be a physical challenge – climb a mountain; run further than you’ve ever run before; take up a new sport. Think Ranulph Fiennes – now there’s a guy whose entire life reads like a celebration of living.

Or perhaps you prefer a mental challenge – tackle a long-standing phobia head-on (like fellow blogger Metan’s son facing his fear of spiders); pull the plug on your safe office job and start your own business; enroll for a degree or diploma; learn a new skill. It’s all about moving out of your comfort zone, getting away from that state of comfortably numbness where you live, but you’re hardly alive.

And when you conquer that fear, reach that challenge, achieve that success, celebrate it. Celebrate life.

Start today. And put a bubbly on the ice in anticipation.

Memento mori, we all must die

Today, 3 January, we celebrate Memento Mori, the day we are reminded of our own mortality; about the fact that, sooner or later, we all must die.

Certainty of death - a reminder to live.(© All Rights Reserved)
Certainty of death – a reminder to live.
(© All Rights Reserved)

A latin phrase, literally translated as “remember you must die” or “remember your mortality”, Memento mori can be considered a depressing or morbid thought, but in a way it can also be an empowering reminder. By reminding us of our mortality, it reminds us not to delay, to get on with things, to tackle that challenge we’re always putting off, to do that crazy thing we always say we’d like to do one day.

In that sense, it’s an apt day to celebrate shortly after New Year, when our lofty new year’s resolutions are still fresh in our minds. Done anything about them yet? Two days of the new year are already behind you, so perhaps you should start getting a move-on…

Life is uncertain, and there aren’t many things that can be stated as a statistical certainty but your mortality is, sadly, one of those certainties. So come on, make the most of every day, live it full-on. While thinking ahead is important, it should never distract you from living in the present.

Don’t delay – Memento mori – do it now!