Gary GruberUncategorizedLESSONS FROM THE TREES
August 8 , 2022 /


For the past 8 weeks, if there is any, one, dominant theme, it is trees.  Woods, forests, fields, streams, rivers and trees everywhere along the way.  Every kind of tree, both deciduous and evergreen – hard wood and soft wood;  fir and spruce, pine and cedar.  I see the smallest seedlings and the largest, tallest mature, all growing together in different places.

Different sizes and shapes, different leaves and bark, many reaching for the sky, others spreading out in different directions; many low to the ground, others wider at the top.


Their branches wave in the wind, provide nesting places for birds of every kind and create shade for a cool place to sit or camp.  The shades of green range from the lightest pale color to the darkest. almost a black green.  I do not see their different root systems or the nutrients that feed and water although the abundant water supply seems to produce an intense growth or stand of trees in every direction.


What impresses me deeply is the richness of the diversity and the living together in harmony, a lesson for us all.  In fact, it is the reduction of the bio-diversity of plants and animals that is a threat to the eco-system that supports us. The net result is that we are killing ourselves, perhaps not so softly, as thye song below suggest.  This is closely connected to the climate crisis. I am grateful to all the trees for pointing me to these larger lessons about our biodiversity.


Biodiversity loss refers to the decline or disappearance of biological diversity, understood as the variety of living things that inhabit the planet, its different levels of biological organisation and their respective genetic variability, as well as the natural patterns present in ecosystems. In mid-2019, the United Nations (UN), in collaboration with IPBES, presented an ambitious report [PDF] External link, opens in new window. on biodiversity warning that out of a total of eight million, one million species are in danger of extinction. Some researchers even dared to talk about the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet.


Biodiversity has declined at an alarming rate in recent years, largely as a result of human activity. Let’s take a look at some of the main causes:

 Climate change

Climate change impacts biodiversity at various levels: species distribution, population dynamics, community structure and the functioning of the ecosystem.


When we talk about pollution, we may think of car exhaust fumes billowing into the atmosphere, but biodiversity is not only affected by this type, it is also affected by noise pollution and light pollution.

 Destruction of habitats

Soil pollution and changes in its uses due to activities such as deforestation have a negative impact on ecosystems and the species that make them up.

 Invasive alien species

Invasive alien species are the second biggest cause of loss of biodiversity in the world, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). They act as predators, compete for food, hybridise with native species, introduce parasites and diseases, etc.

 Overexploitation of the natural environment

The overexploitation of natural resources, that is, their consumption at a speed greater than that of their natural regeneration, has an obvious impact on the planet’s flora and fauna.

Strumming my pain with his fingers

Singing my life with his words

Killing me softly with his song

Killing me softly with his song

Telling my whole life with his words

Killing me softly, with his words


It is up to each of us to do what we can where we are to help stem the tide of loss, in the forests, in the oceans, and in the air.  Thank you in advance for your participation and contributions.