Nature is a rich source for learning about life and about ourselves. I’ve been noticing the way that we experience reality on different levels, simultaneously. And how we do that biologically as well as psychologically and culturally.
We know that our cells are at work, keeping our bodies running while we’re busy thinking about other things. The cellular level of reality is as real and true as anything else we experience. It’s important, too. But it’s not the whole picture. It’s only a micro-cosmic part of what we are immersed in every moment. Levels of Spirit, Mind, Body, Community, Environment, Nation, Planet, Universe.
Trees offer an interesting example. They support our biology, by cleaning our air and water for us. They support wildlife, provide food, shade, and building materials. But that’s not even all that they do for us.
Psychologically, trees can tell us that an area is healthy, established, affluent, peaceful.
In an article from Eco-Business.com called “Lee Kuan Yew, The man who guided Singapore from slum to eco-city”, it says he uplifted the once polluted port to a place that the world would want to do big business by starting with a focus on the importance of the environment. Cleaning it up - by finding housing for the homeless, providing proper sewage systems, clean water and then, by planting trees. In a speech in 1968, he said: “No other hallmark of success will be more distinctive than that of achieving our position as the cleanest and greenest city in South Asia”. It is, and now it’s one of the most prosperous countries in the world. [http://www.eco-business.com/news/lee-kuan-yew-the-man-who-guided-singapore-from-slum-to-eco-city/ ]
In urban environments, trees benefit people economically by keeping air conditioning bills lower, but also offer comfort. Trees capture, store and clean water, and then ensure that water finds its way back into the ground. Trees also help filter and clean the air of carbon emissions and pollutants which means fewer respiratory issues. They reduce our stress, which means reduced heart issues, and studies seem to indicate that pregnant mothers who live in greener areas have healthier babies.
Culturally, our natural response to trees means that it improves business and decreases crime – in short, trees help us to behave like part of an eco-system -- a community.
For more information visit my source KCET.org/treecanopies
News Muse segment from the June 10, 2017 episode of the Totally Positive News show.