Two Beacons Of The Future

Yesterday was the sixth and final activity of my year-long commitment to organize Gratitude & Giving Back events for my family and friends.

The New Year makes a lot of us set resolutions for the future, finding things we can do today to make our tomorrow better. One way it manifested for me was to find a way to connect two things that are true beacons of the future and help with a cause that supports both: a greener world for children! So this time I planned a volunteering activity at an Elementary School that needed trees to be planted around their campus.

It started with a very useful 15 minutes of instructions on how to plant a tree. Despite having helped my dad in our garden a handful of times I learnt quite a few tips and tricks, from digging the right size of hole, to creating a platform, “tickling” the roots, building a berm, installing posts, etc.

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After the tutorial we went on to pick a whole slew of tools like shovels, gloves, posts, bands, support ledges, mattock and pick.

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From here we went to find our marked spot near the playground and carried our 12 foot tree and mulch to the exact location where work was about to commence.

Now one may think that a rainy day and drenched soil may make it hard to spend the day outside planting a tree but it actually made it easier and much more fun (except that it was quite the act of heroism to clean our clothes and shoes afterwards). We had a blast measuring, digging, using all our strength all while listening to desi party music (thanks Anusha!). Driving the posts into the ground was the hardest part and with every pound I was in awe of how my dad does everything around our huge garden at home all by himself at the age of 64!

For Type A people like me a little competition adds a whole new level of motivation so it was even more fun that our playground area needed three trees and we were “competing” against two other groups that ended up being quite a bit slower than us. Girl power!

For those of you familiar with Aditi-isms, my sister had the brilliant idea of planting an apple tree – likely the only apple many kids will hold in their hands in the future unless we plant more real trees.

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Knowing that one day this tree will carry a beautiful crown of colorful leaves, providing shade to children, likely oblivious of what went into getting it to spread its wings here brings a warm smile to our hearts.

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After two hours of solid work, and leg , arm and back muscle toning we proudly named our tree “Baum” – the German word for tree. Here is a picture of Baum with Anusha, me, Kevin (our guide) and Aditi.

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Our tree will grow to about 40 feet and will turn a beautiful red in the fall. We can’t wait to come back in a few years and check out Baum in all its glory!

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