Musings: Tree Hugging

Today’s topic is: “Are you a tree hugger?”

I am! I love the peacefulness of sitting in a forest. I find walks in the woods to be not only relaxing but mind-clearing. Something about being surrounded by trees heals my soul. (Apparently, this is a name for this; they call it “forest bathing”.)

My love of trees probably came from my early childhood, growing up in the woods of northeastern Vermont. It’s hard to imagine anything more beautiful than Vermont in full autumn colors.

Vermont foliage, tripadvisor.com

We lived in the country. There were a few large open fields and an orchard, but most of the land was wooded. Just a stone’s throw from the house, my father built an amazing tree house.

World's Best Tree House, phoebedecook.com

It had a hammock hanging underneath it, a trap door with a ladder going up through the floor, a tin roof, and a real window. Over the years, my sister and I spent countless hours playing out there in the woods, in just about all types of weather.

Tree House, phoebedecook.com

As an adult, when I lived in downtown Boston, I would seek out nature’s beauty by walking along the Charles River or meandering through Boston Common and the Public Garden (Boston’s equivalent to NYC’s Central Park). But those were not the same as the rolling Green Mountains that I remembered from my youth, which led me to my intentional detour, which led me to my husband here in southern Minnesota.

We have seven acres of woods in the back yard. It’s enough to block our view of the road, but being surrounded by crop land and having relatively close neighbors, I dream about someday having a bit more space to ourselves. In fact, a couple of years ago, I stumbled across a plot of land for sale online in western Virginia, just outside the amazing town of Floyd. It has almost 250 acres of forest and a trout stream! Maybe one day my husband and I will build an off-grid cabin there and plant a garden large enough to keep us from having to head into town regularly.

Share your tree-loving story in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook

P.S. ~ Enter the $25 Amazon gift card GIVEAWAY here before Wednesday at midnight.

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