Confessions of a Tree Hugger

Hey handsome, where have you been all my life?

Hey handsome, where have you been all my life?

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”

 ― Sylvia Plath

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It is mid afternoon. I am in a anticipatory mood. I have come to this place with one idea in mind. It doesn’t take long to get here and soon I am upon it. I wear a look of solid intent mixed with quiet determination on my face. It is obvious. I am obvious.  I spy the object of my affection just out of the corner of my eye; tall, rugged and deeply handsome. I cannot contain myself any longer. I walk right up and just like that I wrap my arms around tight.

“This is good stuff”, I murmur.  MM looks at me, at us, like I am out of my mind. I don’t care. Nothing can spoil this moment.  I feel the energy pulsating through my body. This feels so damn good!  “You should try this” I say to MM who shoots me one of those looks he gives from time to time that says:  There she goes again.

I've decided to hug all the trees I want and not care what others think.

I’ve decided to hug all the trees I want and not care what others think.

I continue with my hugging. The tall Redwood seems to hug me back. I think it likes it. I call out to MM. I find he has wandered down the trail leaving me and the tree behind.

I am fortunate to live so close to this place, to such a specimen as this. Yes, as you probably have surmised I am tree-hugger and in the middle of a tree hugging session. I have heard the term tree hugger for most of my life.  The image of aging hippies chaining themselves to old growth timber and militant activists may comes to mind when one hears that term.

It was several years ago when I first tried it. I was alone.  I was walking in a park and then just out of the blue I got a notion, why not literally hug a tree? I thought, and then I did. It was just a quick one, I didn’t want anyone to see me and afterward I admit I felt somewhat foolish.  That sort of thing was frowned upon back then. It was the 90’s and everyone was caught up in a sort of angry angst that did not translate well into nature-loving.

I was intrigued and as I got older and discovered that I didn’t care much what others thought. It was much more fun to go with my eccentricities than just to fight them, but I didn’t speak of this tree hugging hobby much. It was a personal thing. It was between me and the trees.

“I couldn't live where there were no trees--something vital in me would starve.”  ― L.M. Montgomery

“I couldn’t live where there were no trees–something vital in me would starve.”
― L.M. Montgomery

I hear every so often tree hugger used as a derogatory term; something someone should be ashamed of.  There is nothing wrong with loving nature, it is so, well…natural.  Trees are part of the natural landscape. All this concrete and glass we surround ourselves is not.

I will proclaim right here, right now that:

I am a tree hugger and damned proud of it!

I wholeheartedly recommend this activity and if you haven’t tried it, you should. Don’t care what others think or if you get strange looks–do it anyway. Set an example. The tree will like it and you will too. I guarantee it! The more people hugging trees, the more it will become socially acceptable. We could start a movement!

So hug a tree today and don’t be surprised if it hugs you back!

view-through-my-eyes-tree-near-work.jpg

Have a lovely day!

Strawberryindigo.


Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

― John Muir

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Chipko movement (wikipedia.org)

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Portland tree huggers attempt world record (oregonlive.com) (Way to go Portland!)

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Français : indienne

Français : indienne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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60 thoughts on “Confessions of a Tree Hugger

  1. So many comments! And a worthwhile post for them 🙂
    I don’t so much hug trees as lean against them giving them Reiki. I believe you are right; the Redwood is hugging you back. There’s a definite exchange of energies in the Reiki giving. The wood feels warmer to the touch ~ and it’s winter here!

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  2. Pingback: Goodbye Twenty Thirteen. You were “interesting”, I’ll give you that. | Life Is Color

  3. Loved this ♥ ❤ 🙂

    I too will also proclaim right here, right now that: I am a tree hugger and damned proud of it! In fact, my three children will frequently join me in hugging trees whilst we are out walking the dog. For me, there’s nothing like that feeling when you wrap your arms around a tree, squeeze, and feel its immense power and depth. Amazing 🙂

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    • Hey Mr. Kindness: How absolutely fantastic! I am so glad you are a tree-hugger and that you have 3 little tree-huggers. It is so important to pass this love of nature on to our children. You are setting a wonderful example. Thanks for that. The world is better because of people like you. 🙂

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  4. My most favorite and spiritual place to be…I plan on going in November and I cannot wait to see all my huge old friends again.
    Lisa

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  5. I love this post! Awesome photos and quotes, and your enthusiasm is delightful! I recently shared a post myself about my unabashed love affair with trees and how much they have always meant to me. Your proclamation would make an awesome (organic!) t-shirt: “I am a tree hugger and damned proud of it!” We are definitely in the same group. 🙂 Hugs to you, Gina xo

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  6. I love that you literally hug trees! It looks relaxing actually. I once had a friend who liked to talk with the trees, but this looks more interactive and kinda Zen/druidish…may have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing I love it! 🙂

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  7. It made me feel good just reading this blog and looking at the photos! Actually, I used to be a tree-hugger but have gotten out of practice in the past few years. Guess I need to start again! The first time I hugged a tree was on a Sierra Club hiking trip in the Appalachians. One of the group members was a New Zealander – half Maori – who said her mother taught her to hug trees. A good tree hug gives as great a sense of peace as half an hour of meditation, in my experience. Thank you for passing this on!

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    • Hello Joanne, I am so glad you liked this post! It was a fun one to write and the tree hugging part was the best. I am also glad you are already a tree hugger and I am elated I could perhaps rekindle that love for our friends the trees.
      I did not know about how a hug could give a sense of peace akin to a half an hour of meditation. I will have to visit that tree soon because it is quickly becoming my favorite. Thanks for your comments Joanne. 🙂

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  8. I’ll give it a miss. I Have a thing with creepycrawlies which live in trees, or anywhere else for that matter. I once went swimming in the red sea and didn’t know how fast to get out when i got a look at the things with swaying tentacles and what not on the coral.

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    • Hello Petrossa, You should give tree hugging a try! Those creepycrawlies need love too (haha) You are certainly brave enough; I wouldn’t dare dip a toe into the red sea…I’ll take my chances on dry land. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. You are so right – I will go and hug a few trees today! Love your photos and the quotes too. I have also reached the age where I just don’t care what people think… a major advantage of being in my forties! (By the way, our elections – both local and national – were disappointing for me, and our Chancellor Merkel got in again for another term with higher votes than ever. 😦 Her party members most definitely do not hug trees…) Have a great week Nancy!

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    • Yes Cathy, please do hug a few! I bet you already do that…You are the type and I mean that as a definite and sincere compliment. I heard about Merkel being re-elected. Sorry. 😦 I bet if she and her party members did hug some trees it would help them…and you…and the trees. Thanks for your input. I truly appreciate you Cathy!

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  10. You are definitely the bees knees….. I need a LOVE X infinity for this one! Just reading your posts can lift my mood! — your friend, another tree hugger. (We even planted a redwood at our previous house!)

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      • I love these more positive posts you’ve been doing. I do realize there are times when we need to speak out against the negative things going on around us, but I can’t help but suspect that we also need a healthy dose of the good stuff, too. Judging by my own experience, I NEED the uplifting as much or more than constantly focusing on the bummers. It’s why I loved, loved, loved this post! (And so many of your others.)

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        • Gunta, I have been thinking about this very subject lately and I have made some decisions regarding this. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am a sensitive soul and I am affected by what happens around me, but that does not mean that I need to put out everything I feel and publish it. There is enough ugliness in the world and more than enough people to point this ugliness out.
          It makes me happy to make others happy. This is an important role and maybe I haven’t seen how I was effecting those who read what I wrote. I was sort taking it out on you and I’m sorry about that.
          I’m dumb sometimes and I appreciate what you’ve said here. You are a wonderful friend Gunta and I don’t want to bum you or anyone else out.
          Thank you for emphasizing the goodness instead of the bad. I can learn a lot from you. THANK YOU! 🙂

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          • Dear Nancy… I wasn’t complaining so much about you “taking it out on your audience”, but it’s also the effect it has on you. I suspect we already have enough doom and gloom being thrust at us every which way we turn. Since you are a sensitive soul, I hate to think of what this does to your personally. I want you to stay as sweet and sensitive as you are. Perhaps the goodness will grow if we nurture it?

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            • Gunta, I don’t think you were complaining. You were being very kind. It makes me happy to make others happy. I have decided to focus on that happiness and not worry about what I cannot change. This is a good thing and I am glad. I am also glad that you care about my sensitive soul. Thanks for being such a good friend. 🙂

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  11. What a perfect post to read right after returning from a hike along…Tree Spring Trail! It’s all true. Trees are the bees knees. 🙂 Thanks for writing this. I really enjoy your blog.

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  12. I love trees too and I did hug some but htese are huge, we don’t have them here. You look so small compared to that tree….they are amazingly big and tall! GReat pictures and post Nancy!

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  13. I’m the biggest hugging guy yet I’m in the tree closet… They are cut down our trees and sending them in shipping containers to China… I happened upon this fact recently. Unbelievable.

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    • Hey Juan, It is sad what is happening to the trees and ironic how we ship our trees to them, and they make goods and ship them back to us and we use plastic to buy the goods with and end up in debt for and to whom?
      And by the way, I bet you are huggable and let those trees know it and everyone else…emerge from that closet Juan!

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