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Happy Birthday to The Trees

Learn about Tu B'Shevat, the New Year of the Trees, and ways to experience nature.

As Los Gatos residents and employees, we are so fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty each day.

We are also quite lucky to live in a society focused on reusing, recycling and taking care of the planet.

While this mentality is not new to Californians, it is also part of the Jewish community’s ethics.

This week marks the annual celebration of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish holiday marking the New Year for Trees.

Why such an early start to the New Year? This time marks the beginning of the year when the earliest blooms begin to blossom in the land of Israel.

As a community, we embrace natural beauty and life through all aspects of nature, but we also learn to respect it.

In a society not lacking in “things” we often forget the power of nature. Strong in beauty and ability, our natural surroundings should be respected and cared for.

Respect for nature comes in many ways. Below are just a few of my personal suggestions for enjoying nature safely and respectfully:

  • Take a nature hike as a family and see who can find the largest variety of life: trees, plants, animals and insects. Remember to leave everything where you found it for others to enjoy!
  • Choose a reading tree. It can be in your backyard, at a local park or down the street, but whether you enjoy the time alone or with others try to set aside space for reading in its shade.
  • Enjoy the ocean. Take a walk on the beach. And when the waves are high and strong and the tide unpredictable? Leave it alone. Much like an animal in rage, the ocean also needs space sometimes.
  • Carve out a space in your home that only uses natural light. There was a time when we rose and lay with the sun; make peace with this concept.
  • Try a no-buy day, week, month or even year! Consider setting aside a piece of time when you reuse and recycle, purchasing only consumable items that are necessary.

Regardless of your religion or beliefs, I hope you can find time to enjoy the beautiful world we live in.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz January 24, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Great attitude to start the New Year!
Amanda Orrin January 24, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Thanks Irene!
Jeanne Rajabzadeh January 27, 2013 at 06:59 AM
Great reminder to stop and smell the roses. We are lucky to live here in the Bay area with easy access to nature.

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