December 13, 2010
The very word itself gives us a bit of a flutter. No plant seems to grow more easily and durably than a tree. They can sprout up anywhere and everywhere. They send out root systems ten times their above-ground size. They withstand drought, flood, and every other weather challenge. We climb them, hang swings in them, and build houses in them. Houses, boats, carts, furniture, and baseball bats come from trees. Obviously, all our MCPL books started out at trees. We use so many, and yet trees as a group are very forgiving. In the mid-1800s, all of Missouri’s trees were harvested for building materials. But by the mid-1900s, the state was renowned for its beautiful forests and national and state parks. It is said that if we didn’t hinder them, trees would cover the planet in fifty years. None of these facts remove our responsibility to harvest our trees thoughtfully. But the reality of trees enduring nature, allows us to move forward with our uses of them, most notably, in our case, the production of books. We love them too much to give in to the digital age. We want to hold them, turn their pages, and hand them to others. Our earliest memories often include grabbing for the books our parents read to us. We tore them, we chewed them, and we made noises about the strange markings we didn’t even understand. Every day, we watch with joy as children and adults find a most appropriate and suitable book for themselves. Whether its just one or a whole stack, they always leave happy when they find a book they want. And the trees? Well, they don’t seem to mind that we use them for our enjoyment and instruction. They just keep growing.