Updated: Sep 13, 2021
I guess we call it 'hugging' because that's what it looks like, but in fact the impulse to put your arms around a tree, press yourself into its stem, rest your face against its rough, fissured bark is more about a feeling of wonder and a yearning for oneness than it is an expression of childlike affection.
The process known as transpiration constantly conducts strings of water molecules up out of the soil, through the leaves of plants and trees, into the atmosphere. Clouds form, rain falls, lakes fill, rivers flow. We live in the midst of this extraordinary, life-supporting process called evapotranspiration but more often than not, we are completely oblivious to both the process and its significance. Next time you encircle a tree within your arms remember, you are in touch with a living vascular system, operating in quiet, continuous motion. Life force. Life flow.