Sing for the trees: a journey of healing
All across the world people are singing, using their voices to recharge the earth. People are singing to create awareness and galvanise action. The Civil Rights Movement is a historical example of the power of song to create change. Singing is part of the joy of being human, of connecting us with ancient traditions and reminding us that we all are part of the chorus of life.
People sing for many reasons. Our ancestors sang for the earth. For the Aborigines of Australia the earth is conceived of as a song map, features in the landscape are part of a song line to be sung. Many western people have forgotten that the earth is a conscious responsive being. We are waking up, remembering that our voices can be used directly to send healing to the earth.
The idea of enchanting the land is not a new one. Indigenous people have always sung as a way to honour and thank the land, sending prayers for rain, crops, and the return of animals. In the apple counties of Somerset, Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford in England, the community sings together to Wassail, toasting the apple trees in thanks for its fruit.
Annual Earth Day – Sing for the Trees
With this in mind I created a world-wide event to honour trees with song. Travelling for a full year in 2007, I noticed that many trees were dying in the places I visited. I woke up one morning with an idea and created an event on Facebook. Initially I wondered if anyone would resonate with the idea. But soon thousands of people began to sign up. Many wrote that they thought they were the only ones who went out and sang to trees.
Earth Day – Sing for the Trees is now an annual global event which has just finished its ninth year. The idea is simple. On April 22 sing at noon wherever you are on the planet sing to your favourite trees, creating a global perpetual song wave circling the earth. Since its creation in 2010, over 10,000 people in 40 countries have been involved in singing to trees they love. A group of Kindergarten children in Switzerland sang for the trees in their local forest. Children sang at a Native American Prayer tree in the woods near Atlanta, Georgia. Peace marchers sang at the Nevada Test site where the first nuclear bomb was exploded. They sang for the Joshua trees while walking through the parched land. The image of the wasteland that Western Industrialised Society has created is being countered by thousands of people who are singing for the earth.
April 22, 2019 is the 10th anniversary of Earth Day – Sing for the Trees. Contact Susan to join the Love Song for our trees.
Susan Elizabeth Hale is a music therapist, singer and author of the juvenile fiction novel Emma Oliver and the Song of Creation which has Emma needing to sing to the dying Great Mother Tree in the Shining Land. First she must find her voice.