Apr 17, 2021
Honoring the Celtic Green Thumb for Earth Day and Arbor Day
Today many of us have at least a few house plants for decoration indoors, or invest in a few pretty flower pots to set out on the porch. We sit on a bench under the shade of a big tree in the heat of the mid-day sun to take a break from mowing the lawn or playing with the kids. We may even tend to a little herb garden—or sew a few tomato plants and veggies in a small garden out back. Even so, it can be so easy to forget that in the not-too-distant past, trees and plants were both tied so much more strongly to all facets of day-to-day life—and in many different ways.
The Celtic culture is rich with references to trees and plants; especially as one looks back to more primitive times. Between holding certain trees sacred, using plants for medicine, and believing that spirits could be found in some of these forms, the natural world certainly loomed large for the Celtic people. It’s something they lived with closely, and honored in many different ways. Add to that the true, heartfelt love of the land that Celtic people embrace, and it makes sense that we’d want to highlight both Arbor Day and Earth Day this month for our listeners.
Earth Day takes place on April 22nd, and it’s really a good time to take a moment to think about our connection with the planet that we live on. With so many concerns having to do with the environment today, this is a topic that definitely could use some attention. Perhaps our Celtic ancestors, as primitive as things may have been back in the day, had the jump on us where this is concerned. After all, although all of our modern conveniences are quite lovely, they do tend to have the effect of separating us from the natural world in a way that lessens our connection with it. During the coronavirus crisis, many people found a little bit of that connection again in one way or another—be it through taking more walks outside, planning a garden from seed, or even just thinking more about the natural landscape and how it factors into this life we live.
Although connecting with nature is certainly not a concept the Celtic people have dibs on, it is definitely a quality that defines this group of people. There’s so much we can do—even small things—to better feel that bond with the environment and all the living things that share the world around us. Arbor Day, this year celebrated on April 30th, is the perfect time to take action in this regard. Planting a tree is one of the most immediate ways to give back to the earth, and it’s easy to do as well! I encourage you to take a few minutes toward the end of April if you can, and plant a tree!
Back in 2018 I did a podcast episode of Celtic music dedicated to Arbor Day, which you can find linked below. In 2020 I also put out a podcast centered around planting a tree. It would be great if even a few people took the time to don some head phones and get into the spirit of connecting with the land—just like the Celts did. Whether you jump back to these podcasts, or wait for some of the tracks that I’m including in the upcoming episode, head outside and spend some time listening to music and communing with the natural world. If you have a spot that would suit a tree, plant one—and if not, check into what native plants might work well in your landscape and zip a few into the ground. Not only will it feel good to do it, but you’ll be making the world a better place—and there’s no better way to do something like that then while playing Celtic music as you go. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already, and thanks so much for joining us here today. Be sure to check out our Earth Day podcast coming up on fill in the date here for some other great Celtic music to plant by!
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