Inspired by her stories I sat down with our amazing storyteller ambassador, Adah Parris to discuss trees. I know I am not doing her justice by defining her as just a storyteller, as she is much more than that, she is a Futurist, Keynote Speaker, a Cultural Innovator and I am honored to call her a friend. But for the month of February she is a storyteller, and you will soon find out why.
Like all stories we need to start from the beginning, from when Adah was a child to slowly reveal her connection to nature, and later her drive to join as an ambassador to 1treellion.
“When I was a child my mum used to take my sister and I to the woods to play, explore and just be outside in nature. I remember the sound of the leaves and twigs crunching under foot, listening to the sounds of the creatures of the forest. To the sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind (they always sounded like they were whispering to me).
That is still one of my favourite sounds. I feel incomplete, as if something is missing when I can’t be outside. “
Me: How about today, what is your emotional connection with trees and nature?
“Emotionally I have a constant sense of awe about trees.
They are great teachers if only we really took the time to try to understand their language.
They have a deeper and more connected wisdom and knowledge about the things that have gone before me, of my ancestors and the connectivity of life.
It’s why I have conversations with the tree that is outside my flat. It’s also why sometimes trees appear in my dreams, the more gnarly, knotted and twisted the tree the more beautiful and the more profound the meaning.”
If you are reading this, you are aware of how important trees are to us. They are also important to our ambassadors: “I believe that in this digital age many of us have become ‘disconnected from the vastness of our experiences’ which has led to many of the problems we are now facing in this time we call ‘climate change’. “ says Adah.
She continues by quoting Professor Kristie Ebi (Professor of environmental and occupational health and of global health at the University of Washington): “Plants are growing for their own benefit. They’re not growing for ours. They don’t actually care if you don’t get the nutrition you need; it’s not on their agenda.”
“It’s only now that we are in the shit that many are starting to realise that we need to have a better relationship and understanding of how we are not superior to the planet and nature.
In a sad way, it’s what is finally helping us to connect the dots and the arrogance and insignificance of our own existence in relation to nature and the vastness of our experiences.“
Adah lives in London, UK. Which brought her to say that Oak is her favorite tree. However as we continued she added “I have a wish to see and hug a Baobab tree. It’s also known as ‘The Tree of Life’ and is found on the African continent. Given what I’ve said about my emotional connection to trees for me it makes sense that I go to the source. “
Just before we wrapped our interview I asked Adah if there is anything she’d like to leave our readers with. Her answer was “read my essay ‘Escaping Plato’s Cave’ and then ask yourself ‘how am I going to escape Plato’s Cave?”.
As a storyteller I wasn’t surprised to find this there:
“Humans are storytellers and have an innate drive to use stories to help create meaning and solve problems.” This is what we do at 1treellion with the tremendous help of our ambassadors.
Signing off with Adah’s words of encouragement “Switch off, go outside look up, breathe deeply and think about things bigger than your own immediate existence then join 1Treellion.”