I'm home today. Nothing planned, no big adventures. I'm rewriting a previous work. But I'm distracted by the sounds of chainsaws. This place has decided to cut down some trees so they can put in more RV spaces so they can make more money. This bothers me.
The trees are one of my favorite parts of the place. It is one of the reasons we stay here. But it goes beyond that. I think it is a demonstration of our misunderstanding of true value in the world.
Ask most people if they would trade a tree for money and I think far too many would gladly sell the tree. After all, it's just a tree.
Think about this for a moment. The money you get from that tree likely will be spent on something consumable and gone all too soon, but it is deeper than that even. What is the inherent value of that money? The value is entirely imaginary. We all agree it has value, so it does. What if China decides on a course of economic warfare and destabilizes our currency? What about a recession? War? The value of that money can vary wildly dependent upon people's perception of value at the time. It can give you food in good times and maybe start a fire in the bad times.
Now, the tree on the other hand, always has value. It sits there producing oxygen no matter who is in the White House. The shade it provides in the summer changes shape with a regularity that no stock market ticker can ever hope to match. It will shed usable fuel for it's entire life. Some even provide food in the forms of fruits, nuts, and bark. And, if you are reasonably careful, it can and will happily maintain it's value for longer than you and your children will be alive.
I'm not saying you can't cut down your tree. I'm just asking you to never do so lightly. It isn't just a tree. It is a source of comfort, beauty and yes, value, likely far greater than any monetary compensation you will ever get from it.