Nature, Reading, and Tax Season

March means a number of things.

March includes the first day of spring. It “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”.

March was the chance for me to read a number of books I’d had on my TBR list for months.

Sadly, March is also the crack-down time for accountants in the US. I have a day job, and it’s at an accounting office, so March means earlier mornings, later evenings, and busy work-through-lunch days. I am not an accountant, but we all pitch in to make things run as smoothly as possible however we can.

That said, I’m not ashamed I only made it through 1 ¼ books this month, because every word I did get was glorious!

If you recall back a couple of months, I shared a post about The Language of Trees, inspired by a TED talk by scientist Suzanne Simard. I was so desperate for more on this subject, I immediately added The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben to my list for the next open month. Changing Hands Bookstore didn’t have the edition with Dr. Simard’s foreword, though the copy I did get had some of her commentary in the back.

Arizona isn’t famous for trees. Generally, in the higher elevations of the state, it’s cool enough for pines and cottonwoods, and a few scrubby species used to drought, so to hear about large, ancient, deciduous forests rich with organic matter and natural rhythms with the seasons was like hearing about a fantasy world.

In a way, this is a fantasy. My mind couldn’t get away from imagining the living culture of trees, and what this would look like if written out like human dramas. Wohlleben describes the proper upbringing for these trees, their methods of mourning, what trees would fear if they emoted like us, the follies of trees’ youth, and even a kind of mythology surrounding death and regeneration.

I adored this book, and I hope I never look at a tree the same way again.

I had two other books on my list:

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

American Grown by Michelle Obama

I only made it to page 40-something of Lab Girl.

I am not going to push though.

This book deserves meditative attention. It deserves to be savored. I would like to let this book affect me properly, not in snipped off doses between stressful tasks. I want to dedicate proper time and energy to Lab Girl, and I will, likely in May. What I have read is wonderful, but it’s been stretched out over nearly three weeks so it’s not cohesive in my mind, and it hurts me to think of giving it up when there’s good in it.

I didn’t even open American Grown yet. That makes me sad, but because I purchased it I will include it in my revisit of this list in May.

The idea of incorporating the concepts from The Hidden Life of Trees into a future work excites me! That’ll be fun to play with soon.

In light of how much I spent on the books for March’s list, I’ll be reading on a budget for April. A grade school teacher friend of mine has graciously allowed me access to her extensive children’s and middle-grade book collection. I’ve pulled (at her recommendation) some pleasantly creepy reads, most authored by Mary Downing Hahn. Should be fun!

Happy Reading!

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