By Leslie Lindsay
This is the last day of “Terrifical Trees,” a series devoted to Earth Day/Arbor Day and the magnificent tree. (We’ll be moving into the Mother’s Day series next Friday and continue through the month of May).
Flipping through a semi-recent issue of The Sun, I came across a story I just had to share: it was about a woman who felt so strongly about the redwood forests that she volunteerily climbed into a tree and lived there for two years!! Seems the lumber industry wanted to chop the tree down. If someone was living in the tree–and refusing to come out–it was nearly impossible to cut the thing down. A little bold, huh?
Well, according to Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill the 30-something vegan who sat in the tree–affectionately referred to as ‘Luna’–for 738 days (yes, I remembered that number because it was a childhood street address), it was all out of love. She didn’t intend to sit in the tree for that long, however. She recalls that it was intended to be a two-week tree sit. Well…two days, two weeks, two years…whatever the case, they all seem too long. She shares that she had just a sleeping bag, a few blanets and tarps to keep safe from the elements…interestingly, she climbed up into that tree in December. I am a midwestern girl and this all took place in California, but sure seems like an awfully cold time to make a committment to live in a tree. She braved storms, hail, everything in that tree. As for food…well, I can’t really remember. If memory serves me, she was given food from time to time by onlookers.
This all took place in the late 1990’s. Now, Julia is an environmental advocate, bestselling author of “The Legacy of Luna,” and heads up a couple of non-profits, one of which is entitled, “What’s your Tree?” which is a way to bring awareness to discovering one’s passion. She speaks widely, sometimes as much as 250 times a year! However, things are dwindling down for the Arkansas-raised woman who wants to keep a lower profile and live in South America for awhile.
For more information:
- Check out this Wikipedia article on Julia Hill, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Butterfly_Hill
- Julia Hill’s blog, http://juliabutterflyhill.wordpress.com/
- Circle of Life http://www.circleoflife.org/
- What’s Your Tree http://www.findhorn.org/programmes/105/