My deep love of trees comes from me being a concert violinist. We, violinists and luthiers, know wood is a living breathing entity. To build a violin, wood is chosen for it’s narrow grain, and density, this rare wood must be aged 40 to 50 years in perfect conditions; only after this curing process, the luthier carefully selects varying woods that match in timbre and so begins the meticulous and loving process of hand crafting a violin, which takes months to complete. A violin can live indefinitely; indeed the famous and rare instruments built in the 1500’s and 1600’S are being performed today and scores of generations of violinists will continue to perform them while they continue to appreciate in value, demonstrating that wood is a rare and valuable resource to be protected and used with reverence and respect. Violinists are, caretakers, we purchase our violins, but we don’t “own” them. We all feel it is a privilege to perform on and take care of and protect these magnificent beings. Violins are living beings, we honour and cherish them, just as we honour and cherish the trees that gave them life. I do not have the opportunity to walk among old growth forests, which is a shame. It would connect me to an ancient past, where I could feel the wisdom of the earth, her power and majesty. If we start today, and perhaps in 600 hundred years, if we survive the climate crisis, there will be old growth thriving once again, in the meantime, let us save what tiny fragment is remaining and ensure forestry practices evolve. Old growth forests are our ancestors, having lived many centuries longer than “Canada” and provide much that the earth and all it’s inhabitants need to survive. Forests protect our water, provide habitat for myriad species, provide food and medicine for humans and connect us all to our ancient past. To me, trees are like my great great great great grandmothers and fathers, aunties and uncles, siblings and friends and clear cutting them is like genocide.
As violinist, I have a very close connection to the living entity of wood
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