Fall begins today and you can see it now in the garden. The summer has not been too kind. The apricot foliage is a blushing pink. The various pears, especially the Russians, are on fire with tints of red. My hickories – that showed so much promise of a premier crop of kingnuts (Carya Laciniosa) – have aborted. But the Thomas Walnut (Juglans Nigra Thomasii) is dropping green cannonballs – one just missed me this morning! The flowers of my cutting garden, over one month late, are covered by drifts of monarch butterflies.

A strange thing has happened. My new book, To Speak for the Trees, launches today and has been sold out by pre-order – Random House has already gone into a second printing. It looks like the topic of climate change will be on the agenda for people and thank God for that. The time of “normal weather” is almost over. 

This book also has an audio edition. I wanted to record it in Winnipeg, but I was given a choice of Ottawa or Toronto. Lucky for me, Bartmart Audio has turned out to be an enjoyable experience. My producer Wendy Robbins, Michael Hanlan, and Jim Gardner were fabulous to work with. But there was another member of the staff, one with four legs and a tail, Jana, the rescue dog. Her moist nose emerged from under the bank of dials, followed by two large ears, her coat the colour of mature fox. She nestled at my feet determined to explore the reading. I am sure she understands Irish because that was my language of choice for the real star of the studies. I did not realize that audiobooks are so much work – they are!

My husband Christian was taken ill about two weeks ago so I have had to disappoint Sarah Harmer and Simon Heath at the 4th annual Dunedin Literary Festival – Words in the Woods. I have also had to cancel the gala events around the 24th. Hopefully we will understand soon the basis of his illness and try to correct it so that he feels like a human being again. It is a very lonely road traipsing into hospitals for test after test and not know the answers. Medicine, as I know, has its own set of limits. 

The book will hopefully float the film Call of the Forest again. There will be renewed interest. Then a little later next month The International Handbook of Forest Therapy will come out of Cambridge Scholars Press under the auspices of The World Health Organization (W.H.O). The answers will be in the hands of the general public, not the politicians. Climate change is too important to be used as a political football. 

I am here for you. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish activist is here for you. The legend of The Firekeeper is true, now, today. We will hold hands across the World and fix the planet. Children of vision will teach their parents. Each person on the planet must plant one native tree per person for the next six years. This will bring the carbon dioxide levels down from the 400 parts per million into the 300’s. We can do this and we will do this. Begin now. Go down the road with an acorn and a shovel and we might change the World. Trees and forests are hungry for carbon dioxide. Go out and feed the hungry world… Now.

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