Soren the Troll with Lillian Lake. Submitted photo

Gro with Greg Lake. Submitted photo

Birk Troll at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Submitted photo

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” (The Lorax)

A couple of weeks ago, our family took the opportunity to visit Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. It was a fabulous day spent chalking up six miles of walking trails and through gardens, weaving in and out of grand flower gardens, under arches of trees, and gazing at diminutive, green amphibians poking their heads up through watery habitats. My favorite parts were, well, all of it! We definitely got our twenty-two dollars’ worth of adventure in four remarkable hours, ending the day with a waterside picnic at Fort Edgecomb. Spending time outside with nature and my family is a double win!

We went specially to see the Trolls, Guardians of the Seeds. The trolls were created by Denmark’s Thomas Dambo, who was created with wood since five. The five trolls are Birk, who had roots; Roskva, wide as the trunks; Gro like leaves, breathes life; Soren is the waves of the wind; and Lilja, like flowers, springs forth each year all were to guard the seeds and the forest. They observed that people were coming to cut, fell, and break down the forests. And so they determined they would collect seeds of all of the trees in case one day the trees were gone. They hid them where they would be kept safe.

As I recount our day’s adventure, it seems ironic that I live in a state noted for its vast forests and yet seems to be hell-bent on not managing its forests purposefully and intentionally. People come from all over the world to experience quiet time with our trees and other forest inhabitants. It is as though, somewhere deep within them, they know their souls need to connect with nature as a matter of healing and the sharing of energy.

You see, trees are interconnected. They talk to each other and make room for each other. Because they breathe, we breathe.

When we destroy one tree, we destroy an environment that is seen and unseen. A tree’s roots hold water. They hold soil in place and hold space for mammals, birds, insects, fungi, and other life looking for protection and food. We, too, are part of this interconnection. For our planet’s well-being and the uplifting of humanity, we must endeavor to make changes to the habitat with great consideration of its consequences.

Maine has lost its plethora of elm and chestnut trees. Farmers once planted these and other trees on farms for food and beauty. Now we clear trees on farms for solar arrays, factories, and homes. Destroying trees changes the health and well-being of a landscape. Of course, they natural threats like disease and insects, but part of this is because the balance of their being has become unbalanced due to human being’s actions.

When we take the time to listen and observe, trees teach us about endurance, fortitude, diversity, cleansing, and stillness.

Change can be good and necessary. However, change without thought is not change.

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