All I want to do is plant trees. I want to wander the earth and put my hands in it, make it richer and sow seeds smaller than my fingertips that will turn into rainforests. I read of the people that watered the earth and cared for it. I saw the photos from one year to the next – where the green grew again, just because someone gave it time, gave it life. All I want to do is plant trees and gardens, grow fruits and vegetables that glow with color so much brighter than any artificial flavoring could ever be. I want to run through the forests of Siberia and the Amazon. I want to hold those poor animals in my arms, take away the burn, bring them to a safe place – but I only have two hands, and two feet, and I feel that I am helpless and hopeless because the flames keep crawling and the fires burn bright, and all I want to do, all that I think I can do, is plant trees.
There’s a way to become a tree now, you can be cremated and planted within a biodegradable urn and the seed of a tree – I’d choose maple, I think, but there are options. With this idea, I imagine buying a plot of land, I imagine owning a cemetery, and only allowing tree urns. What a magnificent forest it would become. What a place for a family to visit. Imagine swings hanging from the boughs, the place alive with color in the autumn, what a gorgeous mixture of life and love – instead of the dead stones we crouch around, gray and sullen.
All I want to do is plant trees, but I know it won’t save the world. Not if it’s only me, not if it’s the only thing any of us do. I need to want to purify the water, clean out the air, stop methane production, protect everyone from the sun. Get rid of plastic, get rid of ignorance, get rid of lots of things, but then we would be rid of our normal reality. We can’t keep going the way we’re going. We can’t just plant a tree once a year, we can’t just selectively pick our battles. I have to dedicate my life to planting trees. I have to get uncomfortable, we all do. We have to make choices that aren’t going to be happy ones. We have to push ourselves to focus on this, to really understand what’s happening. All I want to do is plant trees, but they’re burning faster than they’re growing, and we’re running out of time.