In her poem When I am among the trees, beloved nature poet Mary Oliver spoke of trees giving off ‘hints of gladness’. Could anything be more perfect? The list of things trees do for us and for the earth is long indeed, and perhaps the simple fact that we find joy in being around them gets overlooked sometimes. But when we gift a tree to someone we love, part of our intention is to make them glad. Glad at the thought of a tree being planted somewhere in the world, and happy about the good it will do. We’re also showing that we connect the thought of them with trees, with goodness, and with hope.
Christine Tammer is no stranger to hints of gladness. A professional musician, Christine has spent over forty years composing, performing, teaching, conducting, orchestrating, arranging, and inspiring people and communities to explore their voices with confidence. If trees are an expression of the earth’s bursting desire to create, then surely music is the human equivalent.
Christine’s late partner and her best friend Matt, had many loves in his life. None as important as his children, his grandchildren and of course Christine. Matt talked about planting trees for his loved ones, however there just wasn’t time before he died to organise them.
When Christine was searching for a gift for the children in her life, she remembered the discussions she had had with Matt. She wanted something lasting and meaningful. Something creative, something strong, something that inspired. Single use plastic junk just didn’t cut it. But trees did! Along with revegetation, habitat diversity, soil and water table improvement, fauna protection, landscape beautification and gladness.
And so, fifteen (15) trees were gifted to Juniper, Jarrah, Jye, Alba, Yarran and Kai.
The trees will grow with the children and are a gift they will connect with in different ways as the years go on. Small children might want to know where the trees were planted and who planted them. In a few years they might understand more about the environmental impact the trees have had, even the theory behind carbon offsetting. And when they are grown, those children will walk in a forest and know that all trees are connected, and that the long-ago gift from Christine was a gesture of gladness and hope.
Christine’s gift of 90 trees were planted along the Leven River in the North West district of Tasmania.
Volunteers from Landcare Tasmania’s Friends of the Leven and Anglers Alliance Tasmania had a great day out planting along the Leven River. The group is continuing ongoing work to remove the willow and blackberry regrowth. Thanks to Colleen (Fifteen Trees) and Christine (Tammer Music) for the plants and Inland Fisheries for funding support for removing willows.
Priscilla Richards | Landcare Support Officer | Landcare Tasmania
Treat yourself to a full reading of Oliver’s lovely poem:
When I am among the trees
by Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
Article by Sarah Hart
Sarah is an artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form.