Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trees are beautiful. But why? What makes Trees beautiful? How does any one thing represent beauty to another?

This is a question that is far beyond our full reach. Beauty is different for every individual eye. While one may think something just as beautiful as another, its roots may be entirely disparate. You may see trees as to be beautiful, but maybe from an entirely different perspective as to how I see the same trees. A tree that stands before you may bring past memories, perhaps times spent with your father; him pushing you on a swing, you gliding through the air. Or of you and your best friend passing endless hours atop seemingly endless branches. Memories of experiences that I may too have similarly shared, but that also contain numerous moments that can be and are only entirely unique to you. Your thoughts, feelings, emotions in these situations can in no way be exactly like my thoughts, feelings, emotions even if we experienced similar actions on a similar tree.

What represents beauty to you may not be what represents beauty to me. But I feel many will agree with me, each in their own way, of my opinion of trees being utterly and entirely beautiful. Trees are one of the many gifts of Earth. And today as I laid beneath several trees, staring upwards and admiring their beauty, I asked myself: Why do these trees that surround me bring such beautiful, tranquil thoughts to my head? For me, why do these trees and trees in general represent beauty? These benevolent conceptions of trees that I hold, how do they so strongly hold their existence within me? These are questions that as I mentioned before, I shall probably never fully be able answer, but nonetheless are questions of which I can ponder.

As I was first reflecting on these questions, I began to observe and take note of every outer component of a tree. Taking in each aspect that I perceived as beautiful and remarking on some of the often less noticed, secret outer beauty of which trees hold. From observation through an upward view, what struck me as to be one of the most beautiful elements of a tree was all of the different shades of green that the leaves encompassed. The sunlight striking different parts of leaves at varying strengths, and the various intensities of shade cast from one leave onto another naturally and beautifully creates a strewn mosaic of all shades of green. It struck me that this is why many artists often paint trees- to capture the beauty often unnoticed of trees onto paper. The different lighting aspects of each leaf gives artists a lot of color schemes to play with. Looking around, I noticed how many different shapes and sizes that the leaves of various trees presented. Each shape unique, not like one of those ordinary shapes of which we have given a name. Each component naturally fanciful. I could go on and on as to why I think trees are externally beautiful, but for your sake I’ll cut my list with only those few distinctions that I particularly took notice of and of which cared to speak.

But like almost everything in life, trees are internally beautiful as well. The service that they provide is essential for every living being. They breathe in carbon dioxide (a major contributor to greenhouse gases of which contribute to global warming) and breathe out oxygen (the stuff that we depend on in order to live!). About 800 million tons of carbon are stored in trees, saving us roughly $22 billion in control costs. Trees also help to prevent erosion and absorb urban runoff. They reduce energy costs by being planted in certain areas to provide shade and be barriers against harsh winds. Trees are also noise barriers, creating a more peaceful environment.

There are tons and tons of reasons why trees represent beauty to me. And one thing is for sure, I definitely miss all the surrounding trees I have back home when I travel to college in the city. But every area has its pros and cons.

It's important to sustain the trees we have today. They provide both useful and essential services to life on Earth. Trees are very appealing to the eye, and I would be often dispirited if I wasn't able to frequently be in their presence. Imagine a world where trees were very scarce...not a pretty picture, right?

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