Today was a gorgeous 70 degree day here, so I decided to take a walk in one of the many parks in this city in the Bible Belt. (I tell you, this town has great parks and libraries.) This particular park doesn't really have proper walking paths, which is okay because it makes walking in this wooded park rather more like hiking than walking.
I had only been walking a few minutes when I was overtaken by an irresistible desire to....hug a tree. I'm serious. There was no way of talking myself out of it. I just had to hug a tree. Now, the park wasn't especially crowded, but I walked further into the woods anyway and began to scan the trees to locate the object of my affections.
Now, I'm awful with identifying trees, but I found a nice tall one on which someone had built a birdhouse. I had been so enthralled with last week's episode of Pushing Daisies where Kristen Chenoweth and Ellen Greene's characters together sang They Might Be Giant's, "Make Little a Birdhouse in Your Soul," so this had to be the tree I would embrace. (You can watch the Pushing Daisies scene here.)
So after looking over each shoulder to make sure I wasn't being observed, I cozied up to that big ol' tree and threw my arms around it. I liked the feeling of the rough bark on my arms and the side of my face, so I squeezed a little bit harder. But just a little bit.
Now, you may think that I am nut. But I have to tell you that my tree hugging experience made me feel grounded and I truly wonder why more people don't engage in tree hugging outside of making a political statement.
As I walked away from the tree, I was wondering why I felt so compelled to hug a tree. My answer came a few steps away as I came upon a monument erected by the Shakespeare Society to, well, Shakespeare. On one side it read,
"Then how can it be said that I am alone
when all the world is here to look on me?"
This is part of a banter between Helena and Demetrius in "A Midsummer's Night Dream," but taken by itself on that monument this afternoon made me feel connected and loved by the God of the Universe.
So, I am a silly 35 year old woman who hugs trees in the park. What next, but "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple?"