Saturday, March 31, 2012

The importance of rituals

Rituals are an important part of life.  They provide an outline to new experiences as something familiar in unfamiliar places. Performing a ritual gives meaning and depth to an action by causing you to pause and deeply consider each moment.  On our trip, we became immersed in the ritual of naming each tree that we planted.  This particular ritual was more than merely the final step in the planting process, it acknowledged the beginning of a new life. It caused us to stop and give each individual tree a personality and to hope for it's future. Coming to an agreement on a name was sometimes the most challenging part of planting, and our group came up with some very interesting ones. Some were ironic, such as Tree Swift, others were classy, such as Cyntharia, some were reflective of our love for food, such as Hamburger, and some were short and sweet, such as our first tree ever, Mark. Regardless of the name however, the process of naming allowed us to feel more personally connected to the trees. The actual name didn't mean as much as the continuation of the ritual and realization that we were giving something a chance to live. TreePeople's ritual of tree-naming helps to encourage volunteers to careful care during the planting process, which provides a greater sense of responsibility and quality in the work that they do.  Hopefully with these rituals our trees will continue to grow and prosper.

~Ava and Rachel

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