From a Connections book discussion, here’s a story we heard after a group of Bhutanese people read Once There Was a Tree, by Natalia Romanova. Padma tried to explain to us why trees are so important. It was clear to her, and she didn’t understand why further explanation was needed. Finally she said, “A tree is life.” After reading the book, another woman, Mon, drew a tree called a peepal tree, and Kapil told a story about it. He said the peepal tree is planted when small beside a var tree and they grow together – Kapil said the trees marry. A bride and groom marry beside this tree and grow together like the Peepal and the Var. He told about leaves like basil, and other plants that are sacred in the Hindu culture. Then the meaning of the book Once There Was a Tree to the students was more clear. Kapil also said he would ask his mother and father about the peepal tree because they are old and would remember the story in more detail, as if he (maybe 35 yrs old and living in America) had already begun to forget it.
Originally posted by The Elephant Rag on July 14, 2010.