The Comfort of a Tree

Written by: John Beaudry
Trees are like yogis. They offer us a model for how to live our lives. They stand physically powerful, yet move fluidly with the forces of nature. They bow to the wind, lean towards the sun. They are vulnerable, yet strong.

My first favorite tree was a towering oak tree in the back yard of my childhood home. Its acorns, with the addition of a stick, became peace pipes. I spent a great deal of reflective time under that tree. I recall a great sycamore when I was at college. Its limbs, branched low, and reaching out horizontally for sixty feet or more, created a unique respite for me. It must have been there since before the university itself. That tree always comforted me. I would often greet it with a gentle touch on my way to or from classes. What is it that so strongly compels our affection for trees?

Trees provide us comfort. They can reduce the temperature under their canopy as much as 25 degrees. They save energy by cutting air-conditioning costs; they absorb greenhouse gasses and clean the air. Yet there is something far greater that trees do for us. They provide sanctuary for us, but also for myriad animals, insects, and microbes. Therefore, whenever we are near a tree, we are in the proximity of a community, a community in balance. On some level we sense this balance. We feel calmer, more centered.

When I need to slow down from my busy life and take a moment just for me, I sit under the canopy of a tree. I am quieted. I feel held. I feel gratitude. Won’t you join me in a moment of relaxation under your own favorite tree?
John Beaudry is a local garden designer, installer and teacher. He is also a spiritual practitioner. He uses these skills to create gardens with a sense of place and purpose; sanctuaries that help people deepen their connection with nature. He is currently writing his first book: Designing the Bungalow Garden: How to Create Gardens and Lives Rooted in Spirit.


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