Leading Thoughts (December 2019)
by Russell K. King, TREE Fund President and CEO
“Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves” – Robert Frost, The Gift Outright
The holidays we celebrate this time of year are rich in diversity and depth. They resonate with me the way the instruments of an orchestra, each playing its own part, compose a symphony. The song I hear them all playing is, at its heart, one of gratitude. I’d like to add a measure or two of my own.
I’d like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve TREE Fund. As Frost suggests above, the inner rewards of giving yourself fully are great, and here I find a cause that touches, inspires and fulfills me. There is an underlying profundity to our mission that makes this role much more than merely a professional engagement. I might dare call it sacred.
Some folks use “sacred” to mean something special, something set apart from our regular lives. Sometimes they speak of the sacred in strange language, using words that very few folks understand and concepts that are so wrapped up in their view of things or so dependent on their own jargon that they feel foreign, far away, and untouchable. I prefer to think we’re living in the sacred.
We can find the sacred in everything around us all the time. I once heard Carlos Nakai say “The only holy ground is the ground upon which you stand,” and I took it to mean that when we are open to the wonder, beauty and meaning of everyday things that relationship consecrates all of creation.
The fact that the nuclear fusion of the sun, just shy of 93 million miles away, has a byproduct of energy that radiates into space, reaches Earth where plants receive it through photosynthesis and begin the food chain that sustains us all, inspires reverence and wonder. So does the fact that every calorie of energy, every BTU of heat, every hertz of vibration, and every wave of every particle of the people I love will exist forever. To me, the Earth and her flora and fauna are sacred, as are the many kinds of love we share. Our capacity to nurture and celebrate one another fills me with awe.
Which brings me to you: You have given of yourself to this mission, and I am grateful. Whether you have given time, treasure, or both, I am grateful. You have created and nurtured this sacred cause that I now take to heart, and I am grateful. You have expressed a love that starts with the trees but extends to the myriad life forms sustained buy those trees, and I am grateful.
My gratitude for the opportunity to join you in this cause is intense, but I need your help. As we build on a remarkable past to forge our future, I will look to you for support. Please consider closing 2019 with a donation or pledge of future support. Let’s discover, together, the strength of giving of ourselves.
Click here for the complete, December 2019 issue of TREE Press.