As human beings we all wish to in some form or fashion leave a record of our having been here. That has been accomplished by cave drawings, cairns, various works of art from statues to photographs (notice how I slipped my thing in there), having done something that as they say will go down in history, progeny, land…the list goes on. But another way we have left our mark is by carving our initials, words, and images into rocks or trees. When I was a starry eyed teen I thought having initials carved into a tree with a heart around it of my one true everlasting love (please note this reeks of sarcasm) was the penultimate expression of devotion…but that belief has changed.
When I see a tree like this I have a few thoughts – are these people alive now, are they even still together, and what were they thinking they were accomplishing by doing this? Mostly what I think is that a living thing has been injured. If you have done this I am not judging; just expressing my opinion. I’m no tree hugger or Lorax – well I have hugged a few trees in my time – but when I see a tree all carved up like this now I put my hand on it and pat it gently; encouraging it to keep growing, scars and all.
There are other ways to leave your mark without harming anything like donating to a cause and getting a brick or a leaf on a sidewalk or wall with your name or the name of someone you love on it. You can even get a tattoo if you really want to go all out but think hard about that one because A. they do hurt B. they hurt worse to get removed; I love mine and do not regret getting them. I’m sure you can come up with many other ideas of how to “leave your mark” but think about this first when you have that thought when out in nature:
“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time”