Trees of Northstar

trees Nov 8, 2023

Trees of Northstar. Our guardians. Custodians of memories. Listeners of our tales. They will be here when we no longer are. This is our attempt to share the beauty and grace of our trees. These are our stories and this our art. In the next weeks, we will share some of our favorite trees on campus and what they mean to us. This is our homage to them.

Trees of Northstar. Our friends. Our fellow Northstarians.

I do not know why we are doing this. Or for whom. Perhaps only for ourselves. Myself and my team of designers, which includes photographers, graphic designers, and content writers. And myself - just a writer. I thank you all. You know who you are.

I will be writing short simple poems for kids, for trees, perhaps, and some reflections on the trees of our campus to accompany the gorgeous art and photographs.

Our philosophy of learning says, "At Northstar, students learn in different ways, in different places, and from different people, including the teachers, peers, community members, and themselves." What we didn't include was trees. I have always felt, in some visceral sense, that trees are crucial for the learning experience. And I have also found it is difficult to put a pedagogical perspective on it. To me, our trees, and I mean the Northstar trees, provide spaces for what Baudelaire called the art of “fertile laziness” (la paresse féconde). The reason I stressed the Northstar trees is that the trees, having grown sporadically, here and there, or as a boundary wall, or trees uncared for, or unlooked at, have a fundamentally different 'gestalt' than the trees at Northstar. Trees at Northstar are not "decorative". Even if they were planted with a design intent, they have taken on a purpose much beyond any individual can stake a claim on. I cannot explain it in words here. One must be here with us.

So perhaps, this art and poems and photographs about the Trees of Northstar are an invitation to come to Northstar and find a tree that speaks to you and sit with it or go to sleep. And dream your dreams.