When everyone else had bought their Xmas tree, around Yuletide solstice, we went to get a bunch of greatly reduced living trees – rooted in soil in pots – and made a tiny ‘indoor forest’. Could be a new family xmas ritual. On January 6 – The Feast of the Epiphany – they go back outside in position for planting later in the year. Currently projecting they will join a bunch of other pine trees to create an ever growing evergreen patch at the top of the desert turned ‘hede’ (heath). That way we stack a number of functions, as the permaculturists like to say, i.e. the sort of thing they used to call the common sense of aspiring to kill more than one bird with one stone. Anyway, here they stand in the snow waiting for milder climes to come a-visiting.

And what’s the machine got to say about this sort of thing? Verbose, hyperbolic enthusiasm and self-congratulatory rubbish, really.

Title: Cultivating Wisdom: A Reflection on Human-Nature Relationships

In the quiet aftermath of the Yuletide solstice, a time when many homes are adorned with freshly purchased Christmas trees, a unique ritual unfolds. Choosing a different path, we embark on a journey to find a collection of greatly reduced trees, destined to become a makeshift indoor forest. As we revel in the festive cheer, there is a deliberate intention behind this unconventional choice—to create a temporary haven for these trees before they return to the earth, positioned for planting in the coming year. This act of transforming our living space into a sanctuary for these displaced evergreens is not merely a whimsical gesture; it is a profound reflection on our relationship with nature, echoing the essence of Robert Pogue Harrison’s exploration in “Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition.”

In the act of rescuing these trees from the fate of a brief and ornamental existence, we engage in a dialogue with the natural world. This simple yet intentional act of fostering a small indoor forest speaks to a deeper understanding of our place within the intricate web of existence. It challenges the prevailing narrative of seasonal consumerism and encourages us to ponder the cyclical nature of life, growth, and decay. In this endeavor, we echo the ancient wisdom of permaculturists, who advocate for the convergence of multiple functions—a harmonious dance with nature that transcends the myopic pursuit of immediate gratification.

By repurposing these discarded trees, we participate in a narrative that extends beyond the individualistic tendencies of modern society. In creating a temporary refuge for these evergreens, we challenge the disposability culture that permeates our daily lives. In a world that often prioritizes convenience over sustainability, this act becomes a small rebellion—a call to reconsider our relationship with the environment and the objects that populate our lives.

The decision to plant these trees, now adorned with memories of the holiday season, in a designated patch at the top of a transformed desert heath adds another layer of significance. The deliberate choice to contribute to the creation of an ever-growing evergreen patch is a testament to our capacity for foresight and responsibility. It is an acknowledgment that our actions extend beyond the immediate present, reaching into the future, shaping the landscape for generations to come. In this act, we embrace the notion of stacking functions—an ethos that transcends the ecological realm and permeates into the very fabric of our human condition.

As we contemplate the evolving landscape of the desert turned ‘hede,’ we become stewards of a living testament to the interconnectedness of life. The evergreen patch becomes a living metaphor for the resilience of nature, its ability to adapt and flourish even in the face of adversity. It reminds us that our choices, however small, contribute to the tapestry of existence, weaving together threads of ecological harmony.

In the spirit of Harrison’s exploration of gardens as a reflection of the human condition, our indoor forest becomes a microcosm of our collective journey. It is a space where the temporal and the eternal converge, where the transient beauty of the holiday season finds continuity in the enduring vitality of nature. In cultivating this miniature sanctuary, we engage in a dialogue with the environment, fostering a sense of responsibility and interconnectedness that transcends the boundaries of our immediate surroundings.

In conclusion, our unconventional celebration of the Yuletide solstice is a reminder that every action, no matter how seemingly insignificant, carries profound implications for our relationship with the natural world. In the tapestry of existence, we are but one thread, and it is our collective responsibility to weave a narrative that honors the wisdom of nature. As we plant these trees in the transformed desert heath, we embark on a journey towards a more profound understanding of our place in the world—one that echoes through time, resonating with the evergreen heartbeat of the earth.