Hug a Tree – Re Spring Your Step

I am a tree hugger. If you ever go hiking with me, you will see that I literally stop in my tracks, go rogue and hug the tall, unsuspecting, happy tree.

I say, “Good for you, you tree. You just stand there. And you just keep giving us oxygen. You ask for nothing. Thank you. I love you.”

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When you hug a tree, your back opens. And you feel a solid connection to some depth of dirt or center of the earth.

I don’t know why the term ‘tree hugger’ is a pejorative. If every single human being found a tree to hug once a day, I think we would be a much better human race. (Maybe we’d even stop the race and just love.)

Trees are wise. They ask nothing of us. They can’t go anywhere. Maybe a person would flinch when I hugged them, or hug me back a little too hard (yes, that happens too). But a tree doesn’t do that. A tree just stands there.

I love in fairy tales when trees come alive. Like I think it was in one of the million Lord of the Rings movies — don’t the trees come alive, run with roots dragging, and save the world? Or at least until the next sequel?

My kids are highly suspicious and embarrassed — even in the woods — that I hug trees. They go, “Mooom!” You know that Mo-o-om! that has at least syllables?

“Do it!” I scream at them. “Hug the tree! You’ll like it!” I act all strict and mean. Begrudgingly, they do. And with an eye roll, they’ll admit, “Yes, hugging a tree is okay.”

hike 2Tree hugging is nice. And there’s nothing wrong with nice. Especially when it takes you to a happy place.

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My kids hiking Owl’s Head near Lake Placid. So many fun memories of hiking with my kids in the Adirondacks.

I love nature. And nature loves me back.

This post is in response to today’s daily post

“Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you?”

Met the Publishers

Of Adirondack Explorer. A lovely cocktail party Thursday night overlooking Lake Champlain from a white house perched on a hill.

Really charming magazine about hiking, nature, promotion of the Adirondacks. Yesterday, I leafed through the magazine from poolside at Camp Normandie. It looked like my Rattlesnake hike story would fit in. I doubt they pay much. But both Ben and I took photos from the top of the mountain. I’d like to rework my story over the next day or so, then send it in.

Even if they pass on that story, maybe there’s another that would work!

Rattlesnake Mountain

We hiked Rattlesnake.

Maybe a fourth of the way up, Charlotte discovered a shedded snake skin stuck to the trunk of a toppled tree. Hayden peeled it up, like a nametag off a suit jacket. He made us all touch it. So yuck.

We arrived at the parking pull-off around noon and I think it was about 3:25 when we returned. Or else it was 3:52. I’m fairly beat now. And will likely feel it tomorrow.

In terms of endorphins, I think I hit them about 20 minutes into the hike on the way down. I was by myself. I felt a rush of well being as I watched my kids holding hands in a tunnel of light ahead of me. You know the kind of yellow light in the middle of green trees on a late summer day. Very nice. Very Hansel and Gretel. Heartwarming.

But then a stick and leaves were thrown. The girls broke into a fight. Catherine threw some kind of handful of seeds or leaves at Charlotte, to make it look like it was raining. And Charlotte took offense, said something nasty like “You touch yourself!” And Catherine said, “I was only making you look pretty.” And Charlotte said, “Without that stuff falling on me, you’re saying I”m not pretty?” in that kind of head-wagging way.

The endorphin buzz was lost somewhere in there.

But that’s what I get, hiking with 9-year old twins, a 12 year old, a 5 year old (Izzy, Kristen’s daughter), a 30-something year old, (Ben, Kristen’s boyfriend) and the husband with Parkinson’s.

I worried that the climb would be too difficult for Chris and Izy. But Izzy was only carried briefly on Ben’s shoulders.

Chris managed pretty well. Unlike our hike up Coon Mountain last week, when he was nearly last at the end of the hike, Chris, this time,  finished towards the front. With the help of a walking stick. And grit.