Mouse in the woods by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

Day Seven: The Best Laid Plans

In 1786, the incredible writer Robert Burns penned a poem that spoke about how, whilst ploughing a field, a mouse’s nest was upturned. The poem was essentially an apology to the mouse for the inconvenience it has suffered.

One of the most recognisable lines from this particular poem was rinsed, repeated, tweaked and revived in a book I read and loved as a child for my English O’Level: John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel, Of Mice and Men. He references the notion that, whatever careful plans are made, things don’t always go as expected.

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry

Robert Burns / John steinbeck, respectively

So many of us had such wonderful plans for 2020. A great many of them went – to use an apt tree-based analogy – pear-shaped. Our charity had several aspirations for 2020 too: moving into our first office, securing major donors who could help us scale up our planting operations and take on staff, finding more Corporate Partners who wanted to green up their practices and more besides.

We moved into premises on the 1st January and by the end of the first quarter, we had scattered some of our volunteers into mini-offices in their homes and mastered front crawl with all of our meetings in a tempestuous digital ocean. It was a gargantuan challenge, one that we wouldn’t have got through without your unwavering support – thank you.

Tracey at the office

Part of the raison d’etre behind Trees Are The Key Awareness Week was our wish to create a point of recognition and celebration of those amazing things we’re surrounded by, yet there aren’t enough of: trees. We wanted to fill 7 days with suggestions to assist you to get through challenging times by stepping into nature and connecting with trees. We hope we’ve achieved that.

For an inaugural event, with skeleton human resources to drive it, we believe the topics we’ve covered in our articles and videos, have presented people with an official hook to hang their own nature-based ideas on, one that shows it’s not bonkers to connect with the trees, on the contrary, it’s a brilliant idea! Being near trees has scientifically proven benefits to our mental and physical health and wellbeing.

It’s our overriding hope you’ve started to, or you’ve deepened your connection with trees.

Image by Leah Kelley on Pexels.jpg

On a personal note, I had plans to share a few more items with you yesterday but life threw me three wicked, undodgable curve balls. I had to sit comfortably with a hopeful thought that I’d done enough to keep you inspired to connect with the trees near you. Unsurprisingly, during one of my most challenging moments yesterday, I managed to walk briefly amongst the trees and they soothed me.

Trees aren’t a cure all for deep-seated pain or endless difficulties – how I wish they were – but they undoubtedly offer countless ways to lighten our loads. They are part of my prescription to myself for wellness – I hope you now share that view.

We’ve received wonderful notes from participants who have given our ideas a try. We’d love to hear about your experiences through Trees Are The Key Awareness Week – if you’d like to share them with us, please drop us a line. If you’re happy for us to share them – anonymously if you wish – that would be marvellous.

Do enjoy the final day of Trees Are The Key Awareness Week – we hope our offerings this year have been beneficial to you, if so, you’re going to love what we’re already planning for 2022!

Hang on in there, with the trees.