This picture by Vasily Fedosenko was circulated in the press today by Reuters.
It shows villagers taking part in Kolyada holiday celebrations in the village of Martsiyanauka, east of the capital Minsk in Belarus. These celebrations mark the end of a pagan winter holiday, called Kolyada, which over the centuries has merged with Orthodox Christmas celebrations, as is so often the case.
What affected me deeply when looking at the picture was the strong sense of community that it portrays, with folk of all ages – men and women, boys and girls – congregating around a solitary tree in celebration.
So often in our daily professional life we are called in by tree owners for whom their tree has become a nuisance or a problem: too close to the building, too tall, blocking a view, blocking the light… and so the list goes on.
I am by no means suggesting this will always be the case, but often as not we are called to find solutions when a tree becomes a problem.
So maybe this is why this picture caught my eye? The fact that it reminds us that trees are to be celebrated and marveled. That they are stunning, elegant structures that calmly cycle through the seasons – so much more than a mere nuisance or even a problem.