This past weekend, the first of December, was Tree Dressing Day in England — a new holiday designed to encourage awareness of trees, their local nature, their long lives, and of course their beauty. This idea comes from a particularly impressive and innovative environmental group in England launched many years ago by two women, called Common Ground, which uses art, poetry, maps and other cultural means to encourage the valuation of the particular, the local, and the non-commercial. They anchor their very popular idea of mapping pathways, for instance, on a quote from the great "peasant poet" John Clare:
a walk in the fields saw an old wood stile taken away from a favourite
spot which it had occupied all my life the posts were overgrown with
ivy and it seemed so akin to nature and the spot where it stood as
though it had taken it on lease for an undisturbed existence it hurt me
to see it was gone for my affections claim a friendship with such
(John Clare’s ‘Journal’, Sept 1824)
Hmmm. Could this sort of idea work here in California? A day for decorating trees?