Someone said something really interesting to me on New Year’s Eve:
“The way you choose to spend New Year’s Day sets the tone for the upcoming year.”
I really took that sentiment to heart, and thought deeply about the New Year’s Day tradition I’ve had with my husband Joe for the last several years.
Each year, we plant our Christmas tree together in a little ceremony, with our (and sometimes our friends’) handwritten wishes planted in the ground underneath. The tree is always native to Maui, and the very first tree was planted at our wedding, which was not New Year’s Day, but Valentine’s Day. Ever since, we’ve continued the tradition on New Year’s Day.
Each year, sometime before the winter solstice, we pick out a native tree from a local farmer, the new tree is brought inside, decorated and adorned, and we do our best to share these experiences with others through a project we call Planting Christmas.
We’ve done this holiday promotion for 5 years, where we sell sizable, live, native Hawaiian trees as Christmas trees and deliver them to people around Maui. Joe does the delivery, and he loves it: meeting our customers one-on-one, often visiting their homes and learning about their land and their own reasons for choosing a live tree. It also allows both us to watch a forest grow out of our own trees – we’ve got 4 Christmas trees growing in our backyard!
Sales Report: thanks to this year’s influx of publicity around the completion of the 50-state Plant a Wish tour, this was our biggest year for native Christmas tree sales yet, with proceeds supporting the Plant a Wish film.
SETTING THE TONE FOR 2012
So, if planting a native trees with wishes is my annual New Year “tone-setter”, what does it mean in light of my friend’s suggestion (at the top of this post)?
Here is what planting a tree on New Years sets in motion for me in 2012.
- It means, in the coming year, I will continue make positive contributions to the Earth and to future generations. (Reminder: these trees won’t reach their fully realized adult tree life until I’m gone.)
- It means, in the coming year, I will make conscious choices (like planting a tree that is native) that are based on the laws governing nature. (Note: I was just thinking about this on Dec. 29th, here’s the FB status to prove it):
- It means, in the coming year, I will comfortably and easily find myself expressing my wishes (even writing them down) and trusting that somehow, the universe is listening.
- It means, in the coming year, I will devote myself to growth in an upward motion. (Did you notice that humans and trees have this in common?) Note: in this interpretation, I don’t mean I want to get taller. It means I want to move steadily in the direction of my higher mind, my higher self. I danced to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” at a New Year’s Eve party, and totally thought about it this way.
- And finally, it means that I will continue to create meaningful memories and create traditions with my best friend, true love, husband and life partner, Joe. Thanks, Joe, for the best year ever.
And, the other part of my day.
It wasn’t just the tree planting that set the tone for my New Year, I’ll admit. The tree planting is just how we ended our day. Truth be told, the majority of my New Year’s Day was spent on the beach in Wailea, appreciating all of the natural gifts: sun, water, oxygen with a huge, motley crew of friends who I love dearly. We floated, we dove, we laughed, we hugged, and we spent the whole day together. More of that, too, in store for 2012!