As they did every night, the animals gathered at the tree, not sure why, but felt an attraction to it. It was the one place they all could mingle together, a neutral safe haven. The crow in the safety of its branches, the squirrel distracted by all the acorns and filling its belly, and the cat securely nestled behind the girth of its gnarled trunk. One by one they started to ask on this night “but why are we here, why do we not cause each other distress while under this tree?”
They continued to discuss this most confusing situation, which only until now they were never consciously aware of. This went on for quite a while until they heard a soft yet deep tone emanating from within the tree. Could it be? Is it the Tree?
Then again. A little louder from deep within the Tree, “ yes it is but I, the Tree, I’ve listened to you three for long enough but with much amusement as you wonder why you are all here. So I will provide you with the answer so I can get some serenity.
You see Crow, as I flutter my leaves you hear me from out in the open fields, I draw you in, after being out in the hot sun and searching for sustenance all day I give you safe refuge. You, little squirrel, I see you work ever so hard day after day, rushing about with angst hoping you will have enough provisions for the long cold winter, so again I draw you in, I toss about the fruits of my labor so you will not be without, you also keep me quite amused as I am here all alone every day. Lastly my feline companion, I realize you have the worst situation of all, you live with the humans, a stone’s throw away from me, I can only imagine what you see and hear, so as the wind blows through me and I wave my branches to catch your eye, I again draw you over here and offer you a place to escape in the hollow of my trunk in the cool of my shade on the soft cushion of the moss that has accumulated all over me.
So to answer the question you all have. I am here to provide for all of you but you also provide for me, I create an environment that removes all your aggressive instincts as though you’ve all forgotten what and who you are, you then give me the strength to go on and look forward to another day. I call this Oneness, a cycle or system of Unity, we all organically provide each other with something we each need, but it’s my responsibility to be the foundation of this system, this is my purpose and why you are here, so I just ask you all and all the generations after you, please don’t leave “said the “Fox in the Tree”.
Robert is currently the City Forester for Easton and has been a resident of the Lehigh Valley since 1979. A lifetime advocate for nature, he has a degree in Environmental Design, is a certified Arborist, Forest Steward, and a board member for a local non-profit rooted in the culture of Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.
- SLV 2023 Table of Contents
- Voices of the Valley – Alphabetic List of Authors
- Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet