The first time I hugged a tree was back when I lived in bridge of don, Aberdeen, and named all of the silver birches planted in a “grassy bit” just opposite our cul-de-sac. I got a set of stickers, most likely from a magazine, and decided to use them on the trees. They were eyes, ears, noses and mouths so I made the trees into living things, with names and documented them in a table with names and distinguishable features. I did this one day on my own, when none of the others were playing football or hide and seek like we normally did, and went back out periodically to record anything of interest, but also to send good vibes to the trees of growth and health since at that time i had a fascination with the idea trees lived longer than people by potentially double or more, so they got to see the changes nature and evolution of man brought from a stand still point. I thought that therefore trees should be respected and admired because of their strength to live so long, because of all they have to endure and take in and because of their ability to give life. I loved those trees, since they were there every day reflecting the seasons, they were young like me and they had a future of enormous potential and probabilities just like me so they were inspiring.
But I cant remember that I actually hugged one of those trees, more like gave them a rub like a genes bottle or a good doggie or something. The first time I actually hugged a tree was on a camping trip with friends.
After hours of driving and an inability to find a campsite someone knew about we agreed to stop at Burghead nature reserve. It had a forest trail which gave a glimpse to a beautiful and vast area of pine trees which we veered off to find a clear area in which to pitch our tents. Some of us went exploring after that, and discovered over a ridge that the forest backed up to the beach. It was beautiful, two of natures most relaxing landscapes hand in hand with each other, giving us an idyllic spot to sip tenants, light fires, sing and be merry.
I must have been exclaiming as I often do about how beautiful it was, and how nice it felt to be around trees. We dont have many in my home town so its really something I notice and feel. One of my friends was laughing and calling me a tree hugger, when another asked had I ever. I said no and he said I should, his ex made him do it once and it was fun. So there we were, hugging trees in Burghead park. I feel really glad Gary got me to do that, because actually, I do love trees and it was nice to give a hug as a symbol of love!
All this reflection on trees is a result of finding myself sitting under the first coconut tree i noticed in Indonesia, 4 months ago. I really think the trees are the thing that makes Indonesia jaw droppingly gorgeous. There are so many, so deep green, so relaxing. They cut out the sound of the wind, provide shade from the suns heat and brightness and bear so much diverse and interesting fruit, I never cease to be amazed by them. They are nothing like you would find in Scotland, with huge green leaves to be found 365 days of the year, they really are cool.