Blog: Hug a Tree

Burt Ross

With all the time on my hands, I have resorted to reading news outlets ad nauseam.  I have read all the news that’s fit to print (the New York Times’ promise) and some news that’s not so fit to print (I think People Magazine’s promise). I want to share with you two news items which especially caught my attention.

Back in mid April I read a startling headline in People Magazine, “Princess Beatrice Officially Cancels Her Royal Wedding in May Amid Coronavirus.” This was definitely news to me. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know that Princess Beatrice was getting married in the first place. To be perfectly candid, I had never even heard of Princess Beatrice.

I naturally went to my good friends at Google, “Who the hell is Princess Beatrice?” I inquired. I learned that Princess Beatrice is the daughter of Prince Andrew which led me right back to Google, “Who the hell is Prince Andrew?” I am truly sorry for the almost married couple, but since I am fairly certain I wasn’t invited to their wedding, I just as soon have them keep their wedding plans to themselves. 

I have far more important things to read about such as the following which appeared in the “Iceland Review.” I told you I have a lot of time on my hands. 

The bold headline says it all:

“Forest Service Recommends Hugging Trees While You Can’t Hug Others”

I don’t think I have ever been so sorry for a tree. It is not enough that we cut them down, chop them up, and often burn them, but now these poor living objects must be subjected to hugs by complete strangers.

The story is rather simple: The Icelandic Forestry Service is urging people to hug trees during these days of social distancing.   And now I quote, “When you hug a tree, you feel it first in your toes and then up your legs and into your chest and then up into your head,” says an Icelandic forest ranger. He goes on to say, and I am not making this stuff up, “People should take their time to reap the full benefits of their tree-hugging…It’s also really nice to close your eyes while you’re hugging a tree. I lean my cheek up against the trunk and feel the warmth and the currents flowing from the tree and into me.”

Now let’s be candid. Icelanders have a reputation for imbibing a bit. I think what we have here is an example of somebody who perhaps had one too many, and the impact was exactly what he described as he first felt it in his toes and then up his legs and into his chest and finally into his head!

I know things are tough for all of us during this pandemic, but if I want a wonderful sensation, I will hug my bride not a damn tree.