“The tree is a living being, it is alive, like us, and maybe that makes it more meaningful to write on than dead paper. The living energy of the sap will continue to flow around these shared words.” — Rebecca Rolnick, Unearthed, Spring 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Rolnick’s essay on “The Story Tree” in the just-released edition of the ESF literary journal Unearthed. We do want to tell our stories. We want, as she said, “something more permanent to pass on to our descendants,” those who follow. Unearthed is one way to do so without scarring an unsuspecting American beech. We are searching for other ways to tell our stories, too, such as the recent ESF participation in the Planet Forward summit in Washington, DC, videos cast to the outer reaches of Youtube, the Travis lectures, and scientific papers that nudge the direction of the fields we engage. It is useful, too, I think, to view ESF itself as one particularly long-lived beech tree. Each student, staff, faculty, and friend who joins our community leaves their mark on the College that is, like the story tree, a living thing. Every entering class brings energy that renews the institution as a whole yet is shaped by the accumulation of indelible marks left by those who came before.