People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world that will not sustain people.
- Bryce Nelson
Trees purify the air; they also purify the mind…if you want to save your world, you must save the trees.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Trees of Endor
…as we do at the ocean, or beneath a starry night sky. Making TreeSpirit photographs is often an excuse for adults to simply play in nature, to again enjoy outdoor adventures like we did as children. Some participants spontaneously climb or dance or swing in a tree.
The experiences people have making the photographs are healing and joyous, apart from the photographs created.
But a larger purpose has emerged over the years from TreeSpirit work-play, with environmental, social, emotional and spiritual impact.
The TreeSpirit Project MISSION:
• ENCOURAGE PEOPLE’S SENSORY, EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL CONNECTION to trees and the natural world;
• SHARE THE CRITICAL ROLE OF TREES in our lives, both globally and personally. We will not survive the greatest challenge we humans have ever faced — anthropogenic climate change, aka, human-caused global warming — without the world’s forests. They provide critical environmental service, including carbon sequestration and oxygen production, and help create and maintain our life-sustaining air, soil, water and human, animal and plant habitat in numerous other ways. We humans need trees to survive. On a personal level, we need trees in order to thrive. Trees enrich our daily lives in numerous, profound, often inexplicable ways; calming us, soothing us, inspiring us;
• INSPIRING people to express their own unique experiences and feelings for trees and the natural world, sending out new waves of hope, wonder and possibility into the ocean of humanity currently feeling disconnected from the world around us. Our sense of disconnection is what has brought us to the verge of overwhelming the ecosystem that sustains us, and that we share with all other life on Earth.
Although the making of each TreeSpirit image is a unique and unpredictable experience, being among trees and feeling connected to them is an ancient, reliable alchemy. Humans and trees have been connected, interdependent, for thousands of years — and we still are.
READ how being in nature promotes well-being (and being nature-deprived promotes depression): http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing. In practical, scientific terms, we need trees to survive as a species.
We humans may only be here for a brief stay in the cosmic picture, but we have the tremendous power of free will to shape our world. Many of us in technologically advanced cultures have forgotten the ancient wisdom trees and other life forms patiently hold. Among them are the simple, profound feelings of wonder and joy of being alive.
If we cherish Earth’s myriad living creatures, or better still sense all lives as precious, we can alleviate tremendous and needless suffering, including our own. We can rekindle in our hearts a reverence for the interconnectedness of all living creatures, and feel the joy and wonder this realization brings.
Go out among trees, even hug some, and share with others what you feel.
- Jack Gescheidt, TreeSpirit Project founder, photographer
• Have questions? Want more information? Email Jack.
• Commune with the largest ancient trees on Earth, the giant sequoias of the Sierra Nevada mountains, on The Giant Sequoias Experience. CLICK HERE.