Do Trees Speak Esperanto?
What do the Esperanto language and trees have in common? Unfortunately, the answer is not that trees speak Esperanto. If they did, I'd be more diligent about learning to speak it!
There is a little real-world connection of sorts, though, now that I've released my first fantasy novel (The Ambitions of Kreltahk). That connection comes in the form of "back matter," the pages in a book after the end of the book. I first learned about Esperanto, and was inspired to learn to speak it, via the back matter in the Stainless Steel Rat series by Harry Harrison. Long before the first book in my fantasy series hit the market, I was inspired by that use of back matter to share something real that is relevant to the fiction in the book. It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to use the back matter in at least one of my books to increase awareness of the need to plant trees, and how The Arbor Day Foundation will plant trees on your behalf in forests that have been damaged by fire, disease, or other problems.
NB: Today I put my money where my mouth is. I decided to start off the 2018 holiday giving season by arranging to have The Arbor Day Foundation plant 20 trees in Klamath National Forest, in honor of my kids and in celebration of the winter holidays and new year.
Read on to see why I decided to support this mission and that organization in my fantasy novels!
Throughout the Chronicles of Madarre series, there are many references to forests and a special magic associated with them. As I point out in the back matter of these books, it's not a coincidence that I grew up "in the forest." The house where I grew up sat adjacent to several acres of forest that my friends and siblings and I played in, and my family's property where we went camping every summer was also in the woods. Much of the area near where I grew up has been logged off and turned into housing developments and golf courses, but when I was young there were large, thick stands of trees, some of which are still there.
Yet, around the world, whether it's from clearing for development or wildfires or other problems, many forests are struggling or are already gone. This has a direct impact on the planet and our ability to live on it, something I've understood since I was young but somehow continues to be "argued" in political discussions. Whether it's storing carbon, shading streams for fish health, stabilizing hillsides to control erosion, providing wildlife habitat, cleaning the air, or something else, healthy forests are tremendously beneficial for us.
Even if the environmental benefit doesn't move you to support healthier forests, there are many other ways that trees are beneficial, including recreation, construction, food production, medicines, providing shade and windbreaks to reduce energy costs, and more.
Whether you plant one tree yourself and watch it grow, or you arrange to have an organization plant them for you in bulk, or otherwise enable tree planting, I hope you will join me—and the characters in this new series—in supporting forest health.
Photo by Morguefile contributor GaborfromHungary, used under license.
About the Author
Stuart J. Whitmore is an author of fiction and nonfiction, as well as a photographer, technology developer, and more. If you enjoy reading his blog posts, you might also enjoy reading his books. Take a look at the books by Stuart J. Whitmore today, and download your copy of one that looks interesting to you!