A friend of mine had sent me a file of a short story called “The Man Who Planted Trees.” I was eager to read it, but I usually save my leisure reading for when I’m curled up in bed ready to go to sleep, and the last thing I want to do is be looking at a computer screen then. He kept asking if I had read it, claiming that I was going to love it, and I kept saying “No, I’m on the computer too much as it is, but I will, I really will.”
Finally, fed up, he graciously gave me a hard copy as a gift.
The book is just lovely to hold. I was admiring it, happy to receive such a thoughtful gift, when I exclaimed, “Oh! Andy wrote the forward!” My friend looked at me curiously (as if I was a little nuts really.)
I explained to him that Andy used to be my “boss.”
Opening the book to Andy’s contribution, I was delighted to see a description of TreePeople where I used to work when I lived in Los Angeles. Andy is the founder of this dynamic and visionary non-profit organization where, you guessed it, we planted trees (well, actually, we guided entire communities to plant trees). Andy was also my neighbor and has become my friend.
TreePeople is an organization close to my heart. And here it was, finding its way back to me in Alabama, where I currently live.
And my friend was right. I love this book. The illustrations are actually wood engravings based on this timeless story about, yes, a man who planted trees (and so much more). It reads like a fable, and an endearing one at that.
And I got to read it the proper way, in bed in my pajamas with just my bedside lamp on. And in one delicious sitting.
If you are looking for something to give this Christmas, I recommend this. It’s the perfect holiday read — short and sweet — made for sitting by the fire, sipping hot cocoa. And it’s printed on recycled paper to boot.
Have a merry one! And plant a tree (or ten) to make up for the one that you purchased for Christmas!