WELCOME TO MY FIRST TREEMENDOUS BLOG. Initially I wanted to select a topic from an organized outline of tree related themes. But since I am a procrastinator and a perfectionist, the perfect blog would not get written, likely until my retirement (whenever that happens). So be prepared to see changes in the topics, style and format as these pages evolve. I anticipate that most will provide tree related information in one form or another. Perhaps others will be more philosophical, like this one.
I thought I would begin with an enlightening experience that occurred this past week. I was back in New York for a memorial for my dad who passed away a couple of years ago. My family and I were staying at a mid-scale hotel in Queens, New York.
While down in the lobby for my morning coffee, I approached the coffee station for a refill when a security guard stopped my motion. In a matter of seconds, the elevator opened and an entourage of people emerged, with the Dalai Lama in the center. My jaw dropped as his graciousness turned to face the service people and myself, smiling and bowing his head in our direction. He extended his hand (notably soft, not harsh from tree work) to the service people and me, acknowledging his appreciation and thanks, although I hadn’t done anything but stand in the right place at the right time; A blessing received for being in the right place at the right time.
Isn’t that how things happen in life? I often think about how life would be different if I didn’t go out that night in 1975 when I met that girl; my wife for over thirty years. We can probably say that about everything from the greatest events to the most negative experiences.
So how do these profound experiences relate to trees? The beginning of my career was in 1977, not necessarily the result of a spontaneous encounter. My arboreal experiences over the past three decades are also the result of planned activities and goals. Yet the most tragic experience of my career, the death of an employee and friend, was partially the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result I’ve worked toward not subjecting my destiny to luck or that of a spiritual experience. I’ve learned that education, integrity, awareness, and experience, are required to provide the best management for trees.
My career path has an extraordinary affect on my quality of life, but perhaps the spiritual and spontaneous encounters offer some of the greatest opportunities for learning and growth. I haven’t yet figured out the mystery of my meeting with the Dalai Lama. But my senses are aware and receptive to encounters and observations so I can continue to sustain a meaningful quality of life and a significant association to trees.