Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
Tree of Liberty: A tree set up by the people, hung with flags and devices, and crowned with a cap of liberty. The Americans of the United States planted poplars and other trees during the war of independence, "as symbols of growing freedom." The Jacobins in Paris planted their first tree of liberty in 1790. The symbols used in France to decorate their trees of liberty were tricoloured ribbons, circles to indicate unity, triangles to signify equality, and a cap of liberty. Trees of liberty were planted by the Italians in the revolution of 1848.
E. Cobham Brewer
Planted by your care? No! Your oppression planted them in America... nourished by your indulgence? They grew by your neglect of them... As soon as you began to care about them, that care was exercised in sending persons to rule over them... men whose behaviour on many occasions has caused the blood of those sons of liberty to recoil within them.
It seemed to him that she looked completely at home in the classic truck, but then, he supposed that spoke more of her personality than of the vehicle. She was probably at home... wherever she was planted. Ha! That thought had come straight from his wife. She was always admonishing the boys, "Bloom where you're planted." By the time they were in high school, they'd learned it did no good complaining to their mother about teachers, coaches, or chores. Her response was consistent throughout their road to adulthood.
Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. The person sitting in the shade now should be grateful for the person who planted and tended that tree. That includes all those benefactors of humanity throughout history that created, invented, financed, produced, maintained and improved all that we enjoy today.
What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea-coasts, our army and our navy. ... Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. ... you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.
Last century, when the beams needed replacing, carpenters used oak trees that had been planted in 1386 when the dining hall was first built. The 14th-century builder had planted the trees in anticipation of the time, hundreds of years in the future, when the beams would need replacing. Did the carpenters plant new trees to replace the beams again a few hundred years from now?
The Bible speaks of the Word of God as added. Sometimes it's planted by the wayside, and nothing grows there. Sometimes it's sown among the thorns and represents the person who makes the decision an then goes back to his old life of bars and chasing women or whatever. A third seed is sown among the rocks. There's sand and dirt between the rocks, and when it rains you'll see a stalk of green coming up. But on the first day with sunshine it wilts because there is no room for roots. The fourth seed is planted on fertile soil, and finally it takes hold and has a chance to grow and live. That's what happened to me.
The Nigerian storyteller Ben Okri says that 'In a fractured age, when cynicism is god, here is a possible heresy: we live by stories, we also live in them. One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, or we are also living the stories we planted "" knowingly or unknowingly "" in ourselves. We live stories that either give our lives meaning or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives.'
In a fractured age, when cynicism is god, here is a possible heresy: we live by stories, we also live in them. One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, we are also living the stories we planted - knowingly or unknowingly - in ourselves. We live the stories that either give our lives meaning, or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change or lives.
Even viewed conservatively, trees are worth far more than they cost to plant and maintain. The U.S. Forest Service's Center for Urban Forest Research found a ten-degree difference between the cool of a shaded park in Tucson and the open Sonoran desert. A tree planted in the right place, the center estimates, reduces the demand for air conditioning and can save 100 kilowatt hours in annual electrical use, about 2 to 8 percent of total use. Strategically planted trees can also shelter homes from wind, and in cold weather they can reduce heating fuel costs by 10 to 12 percent. A million strategically planted trees, the center figures, can save $10 million in energy costs. And trees increase property values, as much as 1 percent for each mature tree. These savings are offset somewhat by the cost of planting and maintaining trees, but on balance, if we had to pay for the services that trees provide, we couldn't afford them. Because trees offer their services in silence, and for free, we take them for granted.
Me dad planted that tree, ' she said absently, pointing out through the old cracked window. The great beech filled at least half the sky and shook shadows all over the house. Its roots clutched the slope like a giant hand, holding the hill in place. Its trunk writhed with power, threw off veils of green dust, rose towering into the air, branched into a thousand shaded alleys, became a city for owls and squirrels. I had thought such trees to be as old as the earth, I never dreamed that a man could make them. Yet it was Granny Trill's dad who had planted this tree, had thrust in the seed with his finger. How old must he have been to leave such a mark? Think of Granny's age, and add his on top, and you were back at the beginning of the world.