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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from

Planting Twin Trees
by Robin Wall Kimmerer

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There was a custom in the mid-eighteen hundreds of planting twin trees to celebrate a marriage and the starting of a home. The stance of these two, just ten feet apart, recalls a couple standing together on the porch steps, holding hands. The reach of their shade links the front porch with the barn across the road, creating a shady path of back and forth for that young family.

I realize that those first homesteaders were not the beneficiaries of that shade, at least not as a young couple. They must have meant for their people to stay here. Surely those two were sleeping up on Cemetery Road long before the shade arched across the road. I am living today in the shady future they imagined, drinking sap from trees planted with their wedding vows. They could not have imagined me, many generations later, and yet I live in the gift of their care. Could they have imagined that when my daughter Linden was married, she would choose leaves of maple sugar for the wedding giveaway?

Such a responsibility I have to these people and these trees, left to me, an unknown come to live under the guardianship of the twins, with a bond physical, emotional, and spiritual. I have no way to pay them back. Their gift to me is far greater than I have ability to reciprocate. They're so huge as to be nearly beyond my care, although I could scatter granules of fertilizer at their feet and turn the hose on them in summer drought. Perhaps all I can do is love them. All I know to do is to leave another gift, for them and for the future, those next unknowns who will live here.

About the Author: Excerpted from Braided Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
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Planting Twin Trees
How do you relate to leaving gifts behind far beyond your own lifetime? Can you share a story of a thoughtful action someone long before you took that has benefited you directly? What inspires you to pay your gifts forward?
Jagdish P Dave wrote:  I love the metaphor of planting the Twin Trees. Two hearts, minds and bodies bonding together , nourishing and taking care of each other and all connected with them. We have received gifts of l...
david doane wrote:  All life is connected -- as a river of life that has been flowing on earth for a couple billion years.  We are the leading edge of all life that has come before us, and we will be part of ...
Kristin Pedemonti wrote:  Beautiful. Leaving gifts behind far beyond one's lifetime to me means leaving a legacy of kindness, of being shelter, being shade to others, however you might define that for yourself. It is ab...

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