The Point

If You’re Lonely, Go . . . Hug a Tree?

12/11/20

and

John Stonestreet

Maria Baer

The National Forest Service of Iceland made an official announcement that any citizens feeling particularly lonely during the Coronavirus pandemic could go hug a tree. Spending at least five minutes a day with your arms wrapped around a stately trunk, officials said, can promote relaxation and feelings of connection.

Paths were even plowed through the snow to allow folks to get to the trees more easily.

While this falls squarely in the “you can’t make this stuff up” category, this crazy plan does acknowledge a fundamental truth about who we are: We were made for relationships, and we suffer without them.

On the other hand, while stepping into God’s creation can be a meaningful way to learn more about Him and while research suggests that spending time outdoors brings physiological benefits, trees aren’t people. Neither are dogs, by the way, but that’s another commentary.

Anyone who thinks an arboreal embrace will cure loneliness is barking up the wrong… well, you know.

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Resources:

Icelanders urged to hug a tree for five minutes to help with isolation

Sasha Brady | Lonely Planet | April 16, 2020

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