Here’s a story to help relieve your fear and/or anger – if you should have any. The short documentary below is about Jadav Payeng, a local of Majuli Island. Majuli Island is part of India and lies in the Brahmaputra River. According to wikipedia, the island’s size started out at 483 sq. miles but has been eroding since the 20th century – most likely since before then but I have no idea what the impact of climate change has on that region of the planet and if you want to argue about the existence of climate change, please go someplace else. So, while the river grows, the island shrinks and is now around 350 sq. miles.

In 1979 at the age of 16, Jadav was part of a tree plantation labor force working in Aruna Chapori – a district a few miles from where “his” forest now thrives. This young man took it upon himself to start planting trees along a sandbar after noticing the devastating effects of erosion on animal life in the area. Over the last thirty-seven years, he has cultivated the eroded sandbar into a forest. But you don’t need to read about his accomplishments from me when you can watch the inspiring documentary written and directed by William Douglas McMaster in 2013.

Watching this film, it’s both fascinating and heartening to learn the impact one extremely dedicated person can have on a region. While there are a lot of problems in this world, this man instills hope they can be solved … one day at a time.

This film also brings to mind a thought I have been unable to escape the past several months, if not years, which George R. R. Martin clarified for me in this season of Game of Thrones. I know. I know. Where the heck is she going with this? The in-fighting and toxic political climate in which we find ourselves is not unlike Game of Thrones. To me, the White Walkers represent the environment being marched toward a dangerous cliff. Some say we are past the point of no return. I don’t know. I hope not. My point is, everyone in Washington is fighting over the Iron Throne, but what’s going to be left when the finger-pointing and blame-gaming is over –– if ever? We’ll have a President presiding over a country with its borders under water and the remains ravaged by storms. I apologize for going all dour on you after watching the beautiful and inspiring Forest Man film. My last point is, it’s starting to become very clear to me we all have to be a Jon Snow. If the right people don’t believe us, we’ll just have to take matters into our own hands … just like Jadav.

One last thing … it’s CLEAR THE SHELTERS day. (I think it should really be Clear the Shelters day every day.) So, get off your butt, go out your door and save a dog or cat or rabbit or gerbil or ferret or turtle or bird or lizard or fish. Some little critter who needs a good home. All but one of my furry pals were adopted off the streets, and I couldn’t be happier. I guarantee. You won’t regret it.

4 thoughts on “Where there are trees, there is hope

  1. I can’t wait to track down Forest Man and give it a watch. Thanks for the rec! Also, I agree with you about Clear the Shelters Day every day. Neither of my two dogs will allow for a new furry friend, though, so instead I’ve organized a donation drive at work for our area shelters. I can only hope there will be no inhabitants there to need what we’ll bring! (Fingers crossed.)

    1. Hi, Minna! So great you’re helping out local shelters. Keep up the much-needed work. I TNR’ed a colony of 25 cats many years ago. I also found homes for 6 of them, including two of them finding a home with me. I need to get back into it. BTW, you can watch The Forest Man via my website. Just click on the movie play button. Please let me know if you have trouble.

  2. I helped clear the shelters this month by adopting an eight and a half year old orange tabby cat with deformed ears. He has brought much love and affection into my life, and I’m so happy to have him with me.

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