A Good Day to Honor the Dead
Today I was thinking about my ancestors and working on finishing up the Eir novena booklet. As part of the each day of the novena I include a reading, a prayer, and a suggested activity offering. one of the offerings is to go plant a tree. As I say in the booklet, it might seem something of a non sequitur with regard to Eir, but there are Anglo-Saxon healing charms like the Acerbot that focus on healing the earth. Planting trees can help with that.
So once I took a break from writing, I decided to do just that in honor of my ancestors. I wanted to post about it here so that those of you who might be looking for something nice to do for your dead can add this to the list of options. There are organizations that allow you to plant trees in honor of someone. The Arbor Day Foundation is one of them. If you’re interested in doing this, or just in planting trees in general but don’t have the capacity to do so on your own land, check them out here.
There are other organizations too (I think Nature Conservancy has a similar program, for instance) but this is the one I chose to use today. For my non American readers, national Arbor Day occurs on April 29 and is all about celebrating the importance of trees and our national forests. The Arbor Day Foundation has programs in place to encourage people to learn about and plant trees and to replant our national forests. I’m not sure when Arbor Day first became a thing. It’s not a big holiday (no one gets off work) and even to me, the idea of celebrating it seems rather old-fashioned but I think it’s a good thing and maybe we should, for the sake of our planet, be giving it more thought. I chose to do this as an ancestor offering because my adopted mom was deeply committed to the environment. I”m also making a donation to Big Sur Land Trust in her honor today. She was a supporter of them throughout her life.
There are lots of ways to honor the dead and if they had a cause that they supported during their lives, or that they felt really strongly about (and it’s something that doesn’t violate your own ethics), then donating to that cause or doing something to support it can be a really good way to honor the dead and make the world a better place. Hail to our dead. May they always be honored.