By Barbara Falconer Newhall
Do trees have souls? Does anyone?
Deciduous trees in winter, shorn of their leaves and their greeniness, seem so full of heart and will and intention — despite their barren branches — that I want to say, yes, trees have souls and, therefore, so do we.
My reductionist scientist friends would slap my hands, however, and say, “Get real. Humans are hard-wired to see pattern and cause-and-effect in the things around them; it’s a simple evolutionary survival thing. A tree is just a tree. A person is just a person.”
Maybe so. But why, on a recent winter’s day in the Midwest, did I feel hide-bound to don a pair of borrowed boots and tromp around in a stand of snowed-in trees? It was below-freezing out there, for heaven’s sake.
But I couldn’t help myself. I had to surround myself with that woodsy beauty. I had to get up close with those graceful leafless trees, showing off their true selves.
Is that a survival thing, too?
More nature stories at “A Midwestern Flower Garden — Beautifully Dead in the Dead of Winter.” Also, “I’m a Carnivore and I’m OK With That . . . I Think.” Another soul story at “Do Dogs Have Souls? This One Might.”