The arts and craft college where I work sits on an 11-acre wooded campus in Portland’s west hills. It’s a beautiful campus, built on the site of an old filbert orchard, and it bewitches almost everyone who visits. A few years ago, the college put in two new beautiful, architecturally-significant buildings. Both buildings have been submitted for Silver LEED Certification. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of the old filbert orchard was destroyed during construction. (This was not part of the master plan.) Many faculty, staff, students, and alumni were understandably devastated at the loss of so many beautiful old trees. There is still a palpable collective grief. I am a member of an Orchard Committee that has been formed to recommend what to do with the clover field that now covers that area.
Today, some students, faculty, and staff got together to do landscaping near the college library, which included planting two new Japanese maple trees transported from the nursery that surrounds our house in Silverton. It was a joint Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration. I was asked to say a few words at a tree dedication this afternoon. I thought I would post my brief remarks here, since they touch on the Slow Church theme of good work, as well as on the conversation taking place on this blog about the standards of health and flourishing. I have edited my remarks very slightly for clarity.