Richard St. Barbe Baker, the great tree-planting saint of England, used to spend at least ten minutes each day with his hand on the trunk of a tree. He said this recharged his energy by connecting him with the tree's powerful circuitry. We are tree people and that is why one of our favorite scenes in the television version of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is when this elderly woman explains why she talks to a tree: "When you talk to an old oak tree that's been here all those years, and knows more than you'll ever know, it is not craziness; it's just the nobility you respect."
Joan Klostermann-Ketels is also a tree lover who has taken a series of incredible photographs for this book which call us to a closer connection with these beings. She has named each tree and provided a discussion guide to help readers delve deeper into their relationship with these natural wonders. To further enhance your sense of what she is doing on these pages we turn to a quotation by Nalini Nadkarni:
"No matter the species, trees are a universal connector to the human condition. Trees breathe life, they give life, they support other growing and living organisms — much like humans. Trees have trunks. Humans have trunks. Trees have limbs. Humans have limbs . . . It wasn't a coincidence that the Old Testament had 328 references to trees and forests, explaining they are the very root of life."
The trees are talking. . . . Are you listening? Walk along with Klosterman-Ketels and meet Enlightenment, Frazzled, Sister, Blind Faith, Whimsical, and many other tree beings. Be sure to check out the section at the back of the book "How We Named Our Humanitrees Gallery of Tree Spirits."