By Emily Staten
As we are swept up in the daily whirl of political news, technological advancement, and personal obligation, it is easy for us to lose sight of the world around us. Think about it: when was the last time you sat somewhere and just looked around? When did you last exist without any objective or purpose outside of pure connection and engagement with your surroundings?
We move, endlessly, from one checkpoint to the next: class, friends, homework, sports, sleep. And each day, as we race to get to the next point in our journey, we pass by the beauty that the universe has to offer, often without noticing it at all.
Take, for example, the trees of Santa Rosa High School. Trees seem so unimportant, so utterly unremarkable, that they are often looked over in the rush of life. And yet, there they stay, patient sentinels over our lives. We are exceedingly lucky to go to a school that has so many beautiful arboreal companions. They are so much grander than the obligatory trees found at other campuses in the area, so much stronger than the frail youngling trees that rest despondently in bleached concrete squares at Montgomery or Maria Carillo. Next time you step outside, just take a moment and look around. Listen to the gentle sound of rustling branches and the light swish of the leaves as they fall gracefully to the ground. Lie in the shade beneath one of the imposing oaks or delicate flowered trees that bloom white, purple, and pink in the spring. Or maybe, if you’re here at night, take a moment to glance up at the way the trees fill the skyline, silhouetted against the night sky in a way that is both imposing and soothing.
Photo by Emily Staten
By this point, the obvious question is, “So what?” Sure, the trees are pretty, but ultimately, why does that really matter? Of course there’s that pesky biological connection, ensuring that we will be forever reliant on trees for our continued existence. Or else maybe it’s the symbolism. Trees are growth and connection and renewal. They represent the beginning of life; they represent positivity and vitality and good health. They connect to values that stand at the core of education: values of development, expansion, and interdependence. The trees have been here long before us, and they will remain here long after. So, as we get caught up in the frenzied whirl of the 4th quarter, it is more important than ever pause, relax, and take in the majestic stability of our noble friends.