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Recently I have been giving a talk called ‘Think Like A Tree’. I will come back to this in later posts, but now I want to discuss Living Like A Tree.

Recently in Aotearoa, we have had a wet spring. This has meant that the trees have an abundance of water and nutrients so they have put on masses of foliage. But now it is starting to get drier and over the summer our Hawke’s Bay area on the east coast can become parched. Then trees standout starkly green against the straw colour of sun-burnt grasses and the crisp dry air shimmers.

If the trees still had as much foliage then as they do now, they would die. All those leaves would evaporate away the moisture in the tree, with not enough in the ground to replace it. But trees are smart: as the rainfall diminishes they start to drop off leaves. If the summer drought hits hard they might even drop them all before autumn starts. So they survive.

I wish humans were as smart. We have had an unprecedented explosion of growth in recent times and our ‘foliage’ is rich. But now we have reached the point where the Earth can no longer supply us with enough resources for our needs. We need to reduce our consumption to keep in balance with supply, like the trees. But we are not.

We need to live like a tree.

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