Before we arrived on the frozen tundra, we used to live “down south” (aka any part of Canada below the North) and our home was surrounded by beautiful mountains and trees. I was a “tree hugger” for as long as I can remember….but nothing makes you appreciate the trees more than moving to the Arctic!
We’ve lived above the tree line now for almost 8 years and “tree time” is one of the things I look forward to most when we go on our annual vacation south. Hugging a tree is literally one of the first things I do when we land (last year I was in too much of a rush to hug a tree and ended up choosing a sappy sticky one. LOL ). Yes, I now take the term tree hugger quite literally. 😉
For the majority of the year I deal with the absence of trees pretty well. I have come to adore and enjoy the arctic landscape (I know for many it’s an instant adoration, but I have to admit it took me a while to get used to the vastness and starkness of it…but now I love it!). When spring time arrives though.… when its 20 degrees down south and everything is in bloom and we are still shovelling snow up here….. well that’s when I miss trees the most. And grass. But mostly trees.
Our first spring in Iqaluit I was going crazy missing the trees. I missed the sound of them in the wind. The smell of them (especially after a spring rain). The comfort of their shade on a hot day. And the list goes on and on. It was then that I determined I had to do something if I was going to survive in a tree-less land.
Over the years I’ve found some ways to satisfy my tree “cravings” and although I only see the real thing once a year, I’ve learned to be content and fully enjoy life above the tree line (yes, without trees!). 🙂
Today I’m sharing my 5 Favourite Tips for tree huggers living above the tree line. (This post contains some affiliate links.)
1) Buy something that is made from natural wood. Etsy is a great source of handcrafted natural wood. My first spring in Iqaluit I purchased this natural wood tea light holder. I would sit and just smell the wood. Pathetic? Maybe. 🙂 But it was what my senses needed. 🙂 It worked! To this day this piece is still one of my favourites.
2) Buy a tree in a bottle. Ok well maybe not quite exactly how that sounds….but did you know they make pure essential oils from some trees? My favourite is Cedarwood. I diffuse it into the air (and also use it for other health properties that it has) and it makes my house smell like I’m sitting under a cedar tree (or so I like to think).
3) Bring a tree home with you! If you have a green thumb, bring home a small tree for you to grow indoors. If you are like me and have a hard time keeping anything alive…bring home some branches! I had a few crazy looks at the airport as I brought my carry-on bag full of branches on one flight, but once people knew where I lived they had an understanding nod. 😉 Branches make a beautiful bouquet for a vase, and still have that fresh tree aroma for a while. You can also surround your self with some trees like this one that don’t require any watering or even any sunlight for that matter. 😉
4) Create a “green space” in your home. Hang pictures of trees. Have a real or artificial tree to sit beside. Diffuse earthy essential oils. Maybe even kick it up a notch and play some nature sounds (think birds chirping, water flowing). When you need some “tree time” take a few minutes in your “green space” and give your mind a mini tree vacation.
5) Appreciate the beauty of the Arctic. As much as you might miss the trees, cultivate a deep appreciation for the beauty that surrounds you. This delicate and resilient land around us is one that many people in this world never get to see or experience. Enjoy your time here! When the snow has melted and the tundra is vibrant, take the time to hike on it. And when you do, walk slowly and take note of the vibrant plant life on the path. The lush moss, the brilliant flowers, the plump berries, and so much more is there to be discovered and enjoyed by those who take the time to notice!
You might even get a book like this one on Arctic plant life to help you enjoy it more and go on a “Nature Scavenger Hunt” while you walk.
Learning about the North’s plant and animal life will give you endless opportunities to to enjoy your tree-less surroundings and will give you a new appreciation for life’s “little things”.
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy”