by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
My husband came home from work the other day, telling me I had to listen to this story on NPR — about trees. NPR was interviewing Diana Wells, author of the new book, Lives of the Trees: An Uncommon History, exploring people’s relationship with trees and the stories behind their names. My husband knew this would interest me because, well, I love trees. But also because, part of our vision here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is to reveal the unity and integration of human and plant life, and to celebrate the fundamental significance of the natural world in enriching our community, and this is exactly what Diana Wells does in her book.
So, if you too are a tree lover, you may enjoy this 6-minute interview. By far, the most interesting thing I learned was about the Japanese Cedar and the tradition that surrounds it, forest bathing. Apparently, today in Japan it is still common for Japanese businessmen to enjoy this ritual.
“You go into the forest and soak yourself in the trees,” she says. “I live where there are woods and I will [do that] quite often and let the trees feel as if I’m part of the forest. It’s very, very soothing — it’s beautiful.”
“It would help us if we were more familiar with trees,” Wells says. “I think if we did that, it would cement the bond, and it would help all of us. We need the trees and they need us.”