I had this conversation with a tree soul once, through an intermediary. One of the astounding things that happens in the work I do. I got to ask it what trees expect to do for humans. Renew the air with that carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange thing they do, right? Mostly, they see that as one of the things they do to sustain themselves. What they do for humans, as the tree soul explained, is to give structure. "As a tree gives up its consciousness to become wood, that is the mission of the tree."
I sincerely hope loggers do not read this and use it to justify deforestation, and yet I cannot deny that the souls of trees will serve us. I hope this leads us to reverence for the gifts they give. To offer trees something in return as well--the time to grow and flourish here on the earth with us and to be taken with care and gratitude. To make room in our view of who might be our brother to include the possibility of a tree.
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