The Grateful Tree

The Grateful Tree

A small tree near my apartment. The small print says, “what are you grateful for today?” Sharpie and hangable paper tags provided.

4 Responses to “The Grateful Tree”

  1. eric says:

    I’m grateful for the photo. What kind of tree is it, anyway? It looks pretty young to be bearing such a weighty burden of gratitude. In any case, this is a good example of what is needed in, and what may be fostered by, the current recession/depression (repression?). Now if we can only get national health care…

  2. dc says:

    Eric: “Bearing such a weighty burden of gratitude”? Gratitude is like helium: the more of it there is, the less it weighs. I don’t know what kind of tree it is (like Rabbit Angstrom, at least according to Ian McEwan, I like trees but can’t identify them), but it’s probably a baby. I think it was just planted recently, because I’ve never noticed it before.

    I was riding past a park along the Oakland waterfront yesterday morning, and there were a bunch of citizens collecting litter and tidying up the park. Since the city of Oakland has basically announced that they can’t afford to maintain parks anymore, and will be even less able to do so in coming months and years, I am a big supporter of people who “adopt” parks and public spaces and do their part to keep them clean and nice. I try to help out by picking up litter at the school around the corner (I hope it helps make up for letting my dog pee and poop in the schoolyard when school isn’t in session, although of course I clean that up too).

    I think the whole gratitude movement is great in theory, and I suppose I practice it in my own way by feeling blessed for what I have instead of bitter about what I don’t have, but when I encounter ostentatious gratitude in daily life, I usually want to bolt in the other direction. There’s a small chain of raw/organic/sustainable/etc restaurants in SF and Berkeley called Cafe Gratitude, where one is encouraged at every turn to feel excessive gratitude for life’s bounty (sometimes they even let you pay what you wish, like the Metropolitan Museum), and I have little interest in eating there.

    My favorite note of gratitude is the one with the scribbles all over it. I like to imagine that some child was walking with her parent(s), and was grateful for the fact that some benevolent, unseen stranger had provided her with a pen and a place to scribble her heart out, then a place to display it. A young artist gets her first show!

  3. avoice1 says:

    I suppose the species of the tree is not the point. I am as grateful as the next man, or maybe it’s the man next to him, and might welcome a similar gratitude tree here in Glendale where we have much to be grateful for. But it might arouse the suspicion of my Armenian neighbors and then the police. Both of these groups have a tendency to interpret gestures like this wrongly. They seek to uncover the ulterior motives. They might even catch a whiff of sedition. They have sedition-sniffing dogs, I’m told.

    dc, I see a sign in a park in your future commemorating your clean up efforts.

  4. jabel says:

    The leaves look a bit like an olive but then a lot of leaves do.It’s awful bushy for a tre.Is it a shrub? and I don’t think it’s all that healthy for a youngster still growing to have all those tags attached to it.

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