In one year, hundreds of people will die from lightning strikes, thousands of wolves will be hunted, and millions of trees will be cut down. I have lived this year eight hundred times over.
I have seen people walk by while enjoying the feeling of connection and unity with nature, embracing the idea that they are so small in a world that is so large. I have seen packs of wolves take shelter under my leaves, creating a temporary home, because to them home is where the pack is. I have seen the younger trees around me grow for hundreds of years until they too have become full grown monuments of nature.
Eight hundred years is a long time. Some may think it feels even longer when you can’t move – can’t run, swim, fly, explore. What these people don’t realize is that you don’t have to be able to run with the wolves to respect their sense of family. You don’t have to be able to swim with the dolphins to appreciate their joy of life. You don’t have to be able to fly with the birds to relish in their ability to reach new heights. You don’t have to be able to explore to see the world.
The other trees and animals are my family. Watching the new wildlife that appears every day provides me the joy in life I need. I’ve grown from a small sapling and reached new heights that allow me to admire the world from above. I see the enjoyment I provide humans, the protection I provide wolves, and the family I share with other trees.
You don’t need to explore to see the world, because the world happens all around you, and I have seen it.