Close your eyes and imagine you are in the forest. Around you, there are noble and proud giants – trees. From afar, you can hear the famous noise made by a woodpecker, doing his work with the biggest possible care. You are being careful not to destroy the anthill, a perfect example of the circular economy with its absolute cleanliness, a division of labor and highly developed social life. These small creatures laboriously collect pine needles, crumbs, leaves and sand without producing waste by using all its resources. Under the nearby fir tree, you find a magnificent cep, a symbol of perfect symbiosis. You observe lichens, dead leaves rustling under your feet and mosses camouflaging on trees. You touch the cracked bark of a tree and feel the energy that passes through it, the vibrant resin, and you want to learn quickly its history… In this ideal kingdom of nature, in which you are accompanied by silence, to which you must first get used to, fears disappear from your life. The example of forests gives us courage.
Reading The Secret Language of Trees by Erwin Thoma* is like a journey into the forest, and each part of it discovers new secrets. We learn how trees and the whole forest ecosystem work, we go inside the tree and even…. we learn the language of the tree. As the author says, trees communicate with their environment. They communicate not only with us, but also with each other and with other elements of nature. It is thus worth exploring their nature and trying to understand their discourse.
Erwin Thoma is an Austrian forester who knows almost everything about trees. His book The Secret Language Of Trees describes the relationship between man and trees as an effective example of principles of circular economy and self-reliance of the industry. It’s also about living in an environment of the revitalization of natural resources. In the early 1990s, Thoma established a company that creates certified wooden houses, based on the principles of safety and above all respect for the environment. Thoma’s houses are bionic, which means inspired by nature. Buildings designed in this way are not only energetically efficient, they are also resistant to fire and earthquakes, and their secret lies in the choice of wood. In this case, it is lunar wood, cut in winter surging the decreasing moon.
Trees have always been with us, providing food, shelter, and warmth. We manufacture wooden houses, musical instruments, and furniture. In recent years, the way in which trees and wood are used has changed dramatically – we focus not on quality, but on quantity. We live in an era of over-consumption where tradition and nature are forgotten. And as we read, we realize how much happier and less complicated our lives could be if we followed the example of trees: Every fall, they take off their coats to feed the others. A wanderer, a woodpecker, a squirrel, and the other inhabitants of the forest will find food next to them and on them. Trees cooperate with all other organisms in a complex ecosystem. Whatever they don’t need, they give away without hesitation. For them, life means giving and taking what they need. Vitality and health are closely linked to giving, but also to the ability to receive.
But this book is so much more than just a story about trees. It also teaches us to be humble, to live in full harmony with nature, while respecting its rights. I can say without hesitation that this it’s philosophical, it’s deep and meaningful and for sure is worth having in your personal library!
*The English version of this book wasn’t published yet. The name of this book, as well as all the quotations, have been translated from the Polish version. However, you may check another book by the author published in English, titled: A Future with natural wood.
This article was made in cooperation with Wydawnictwo Literackie.