Name ten things that can be done with a stick. I bet you can name twenty, even forty. The list, when you think about it, would be endless. But we don’t have that kind of time. Let’s start off with these.
Dig. Plant. Herd.
Shelter. Cook. Carve.
We’re tool makers. It’s what we do, have always done. Since the first bi-pedal perambulator wrapped her phalanges around the offshoot of a large, woody perennial. We survive because we are human. We thrive because of our environment. We became the first musical instruments expressing our gratitude to the Earth.
Write. Count. Create.
Bridge. Float. Roll.
We’re inventive. Over thousands and thousands of years, that stick has been improved upon and improved upon again. Replaced by umpteen dozens of tools and materials. Unfortunately, for these last several hundred years we’ve been fabricating with impunity. Our thriving will end when that last tree gives up its last stick. After that, what will survival mean?
Poke. Kill. Defend.
Obstruct. Imprison. Torture.
Branches made abominable. We are seeing now what happens when the subversion of Justice threatens to soon be all we remember. When Compassion is pummeled and Courage is flayed to the bone. Torture feeds the twisted terrorist; temporarily eases the ache in their gut as it passes their fear and pain onto the inflicted. Their souls seem vacuous, their hunger frighteningly insatiable.
Interfere. Make Noise. Reform.
Educate. Agitate. Organize.
Now is the time to remind ourselves where sticks come from and all the powerfully good things that can be done with them. And now is the time to teach our children that branches can be used for more than smashing and stabbing and shooting.
Trees. Sacred since the beginning of time. Celebrated within many cultures in legend, myth, and reality; Manidoo-giizhikens, The Giving Tree, Hebrew terebinth, Bodhi Tree, Sacred Willow, Yggdrasil, Lote and Zaqqum, World Tree, The Oak of Dodona, Sojourner Tree. And many more. Here’s a Wikipedia list of trees living and dead, real and fictional, that made it into recorded history. Strong and nourishing, protecting and providing. Estranged and abominated only by humans.
How long has it been since you’ve picked up a stick and held it, examining the very elements physical and spiritual that make it what it is?
Now, it the time.