I love trees. I love to gaze at them, sit under them, draw them, study them, paint them, climb them and sometimes feel a peaceful solidarity with them. Growing up, I had a silver birch tree in our yard. In so many ways that tree was my first best friend. I had a blue and white swing set that was placed under the tree. I swang and swang and stared up at those lofty tree branches for most of my outdoor time. It was my club house, my fort, my place of peace and protection.
I learned my first surah under that tree. I have fond memories of bonding with my siblings. I listened to the rustling wind as it changed harmony from season to season. I raked its leaves and collected some for arts and crafts. I would often run my fingers along the soft silky white paper bark. I’d smell that earthy tree smell and know I was home. Years past, I grew up, moved away, and this memory like many faded.
Recently, we moved into a new home. The front yard needed work; mostly landscaping to hold the steep hill. We consulted a landscaper, she recommended a birch tree. Wow. So many memories floated back to me. For a moment I truly remembered what it was like to be five years old again. Of course I agreed to the tree. It’s a young spring, so it will need many years to grow into my old friend.
Like many, I want my children to be near nature, life of all forms. Feel and breathe the creation of Allah SWT. Find happiness in something that they do not have to plug in. Mostly, I want them to be at peace.
Sharda Mohammed is a Canadian-born mother of two young children. She has a keen interest in learnig to foster leadership, self esteem and empathy in young children. She works part-time as a Physical Therapist.