Snapshot: Ginko trees and connections in deep time

Arbor day in Hawai’i is coming up again and I am reminded of my trip to Korea about 8 years ago. We were staying at the Jeongju Hanok Village when we came across this old Ginko tree with a sign. Apparently, a high ranking official had planted it in the hopes that young scholars advance in their posts free of injustice.

Now what really moved me was that an actual person 600 years ago planted that young tree and I was directly able to enjoy their foresight and effort. I’ve been planting and restoring dozens of species of native plants at our restoration site over the last decade. It’s thousands and thousands of seedlings at this point. While on one hand it is a shame that I will never sit in the shade of the lama, hala pepe, ‘ohi’a seedlings that I’m planting now; I get such a sense of fulfillment knowing that a kid may enjoy the shade of the trees I’m planting some 600 years hence. It is so simple and straightforward, planting baby trees, that it seems insignificant. Yet not many easy things one does in their lifetime that someone a millennium from now can only fully appreciate. People may work hard enough for their career and have a park named after them. Which is well and good. But one can also plant the trees in the park as well.

To top it of we have blogs now. Sure there was a carved stone next to the tree stating the guy’s intentions, but we don’t really know. Who knows what the future technology looks like, but I’d imagine they could read this blog. So, hello children of the year 2622! I hope you can take a picture of the giant lama trees that I’m about the plant this coming arbor day the same way I did with this Gingko tree on a small street in Jeongju, South Korea.

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