"EARTH DAY" IS CELEBRATED EACH YEAR ON THE 22nd OF APRIL AND ON THIS DAY WE INHABITANTS SHOULD GIVE THOUGHT TO THE MAGNIFICENCE OF TREES, TO RESPECT THEIR BEAUTY AND REALIZE HOW VITAL THEY ARE TO THE ECOLOGY. THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE IS AN ADAPTION FROM AN OLD NORWEGIAN TALE:
"I am much older than you and that is why I have known you for such a long time. I have had a strong affinity with you since those early days of your infancy when your mother wheeled you beneath my outspread branches. How I helped to create shade while you slept, unaware.
I saw how your undeveloped mind was grasping to understand the movements of my leaves and I understood your puzzlement as the wind rustled through my branches.
You later left your pram and had new inspirations. How I felt for you, this small toddler, lying in your bed fearsome of the eerie shadows I caste on your bedroom walls at night.
I challenged you for many years. How frustrated you were unable to reach my upper arms, how triumphant when you conquered my great limbs and how the spirit of your independence was born when I gave support to your first tree- house. We were great buddies but at time you hurt me by breaking my limbs so callously, but you returned to me and I faithfully accepted you.
Then came a great change in our relationship. You grew up and appeared to no longer need me. But my grief was short lived as you married, built a house on the same ground and suddenly I was back in your life and you saved me from the axe so that I could continue to grace your garden and serve you and your family.
The years ahead were indeed fulfilling, but age was creeping up on me and I began to shrivel and became somewhat gnarled. I knew the time had come for me to be cut down and even then my stump supported you in your old age.
Finally our physical lives ended. They placed you in a finely planed coffin of timber yielded by me during my former, healthier days.
We had truly come full circle and the friendship was complete.