Thursday, April 19, 2012

Honoring Trees

by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Obviously, I love trees! The Body Grace logo and d├ęcor is tree-inspired, and the first impression of the studio is the ‘love’ tree painted in the stairwell. I have loved trees for as long as I can remember. As a little girl I couldn’t wait to play out in the woods with my dolls. When I was a teen getting into drawing and painting, I would spend many hours with my sketchpad out in the woods. In painting class, I would bring in pictures of trees with gnarly, moss-covered roots to paint, frustrating my teachers who would say, “enough with the trees, Jan” and then make me paint a boring still life.

My family is getting ready to put my mom’s house on the market. Recently while I was sitting outside on the front stoop taking a break from cleaning, I realized how much I will miss the big, old maple tree in the front yard. It’s a magnificent tree with an amazing root system and a beautiful shape. That tree has grown up with me. It saw me through my awkward, pudgy, crooked teeth and cat-eye glasses elementary school days; put up with my rebellious, alcohol- and drug-induced teen years; and has had the privilege of having my own two daughters play make believe under it when they were little. I only hope that whoever buys the house will love that tree as much as my mom and my family did.

Saying good-bye to my mom almost a year ago, (whose final resting place is underneath a big, nurturing tree), and now getting ready to say good-bye to our family’s home, has all been a process of letting go, which brings me to the Body Grace logo. Have you ever noticed the two floating leaves? Those leaves are what made me fall in love with the design. They represent not only graceful movement, (which by the way, is what we want in our bodies; bodies that are strong and stable, but also move with ease and lightness) but the leaves also symbolize letting go and giving back. As they fall to the ground, they are giving back to the earth.

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22 but Body Grace will be celebrating Earth Week through Saturday, April 28. I will donate $2.00 to the Environmental Defense Fund for every paying student who comes to take a class during the week. This will be one small way of giving back to the earth.

“To treat the physical world as sacred is to honor what you do with your body and environment, the food you eat, the things you buy and your means of livelihood.”
Anodea Judith, Ph.D. therapist and educator.

Taking the time to connect to Mother Nature is another way to show we care. Notice how delicate the light is when the sun shines through the laciness of new leaves on the trees, the many colors of the flowering shrubs and flowers, the chorus of birds singing early in the morning. Caring for the earth reflects how we take care of ourselves. I want to have lots of trees for my grandchildren to play under and grow up with, just like I had my maple tree.