Sarah Lysne: The joy of trees

Published 6:02 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

With Earth Day soon approaching, I want to share why trees are so important to me.

After I was diagnosed with ALS, The Tree of Life became a meaningful symbol to me. There are many explanations of its meaning. I like to embrace this idea that I found online at jewelry-auctioned.com. The circle around the tree represents how we are all connected in the circle of life, and the tree represents the strength of each individual person. I think we are connected to others in our own circle of life when we use our unique strengths to help others.

Trees have been a part of my life since childhood. When I was growing up, my family and I lived in a house with a large chestnut tree in the backyard. It provided plenty of shade on warm days, and the chestnuts were beautiful. When we were young my cousins and I would mix the chestnuts into our mud pies. When we were older, we learned how to thread the chestnuts together to make necklaces and bracelets. The tree provided hours of fun for all of us.

Some trees remind me of certain people. My grandpa Keenan used to sit under an apple tree on nice days. The tree was located near the driveway on his hobby farm. When I drove into the driveway it always felt as if he had been expecting me to arrive. I would go to the garage and get another chair. It was the perfect place to sit and visit.

My father-in-law passed away several years ago just a week after Christmas. That first Christmas without him was very difficult for our family. I had been contemplating simplifying things and buying an artificial tree. For some reason I came across an article explaining the significance of the evergreen tree. When I learned the evergreen represents everlasting life, the decision was made. Now, every year when we bring a beautiful real tree into the house, I am comforted once again by the symbolism of this tree.

Now it is time for you to go outside and hug a tree.

Happy Earth Day!