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- Early Childhood (under 7 yrs old)
- Juvenile Fiction, Nature & The Natural World, Environment
- Juvenile Fiction, People & Places, United States, Native American
- Juvenile Fiction, Religious
Juvenile fiction, Children’s fiction, Nature, Spiritual, Healing, Friendship, Blooming where planted
The Harmony Tree
A Story of Healing and Community
Randy S. Woodley
In The Harmony Tree, an old grandmother oak tree is spared when loggers come through and clear-cut a forest. Grandmother Oak finds herself alone until new houses start showing up on the land, along with new trees. Grandmother Oak tries to make friends with these trees, but they are shallow and focused only on themselves. As Grandmother Oak shares her stories and how she came to have such deep roots, she finds hope and healing. The other trees, seeing the value of Grandmother Oak’s history with the land, begin to find strength too.
The inspiration for this story comes from the author’s own fifty-acre farm, where all the virgin trees were logged except for a large, white oak tree that sat at the top of a hill. Randy Woodley, says, “I was always grateful the loggers left that one 300-year-old tree for us to enjoy.” That and the tragic circumstances that caused the Woodleys to lose their land and farm just because they were Native Americans inspired Randy to write this story. Under such circumstances, Randy wondered, “How could this one tree bring about healing and friendship in the world? If we can change our minds about our current views of progress, ecology, and the relationship between settler and host peoples, then maybe that one grandmother oak tree, left uncut, offers some hope for everyone.”
Randy Woodley was raised near Detroit, Michigan, and is a legal descendent of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. As a child, Randy loved to spend time in the woods and at a nearby creek listening to and watching the wondrous world around him. That same wonderment has continued throughout his adult life. Randy and his wife, Edith, maintain Eloheh Farm and Eloheh Village (“eloheh” is a Cherokee Indian word meaning harmony) for Indigenous Leadership, a permaculture, regenerative teaching farm and community in Newberg, Oregon. Randy’s most recent book, sharing similar principles found in this book but written for adults, is Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision (Eerdmans, 2012).
Ramone Romero has liked drawing ever since he can remember. As a little boy, he used to sit through church with coloring books, yet as he grew up he drew less and less because he didn’t think his art was very good, which made him sad. One day, the Creator showed him a simple picture, but Ramone couldn’t understand it. As the Creator explained it to him, Ramone’s heart began to heal, and the Creator took away his sorrow. Since then, Ramone has been drawing and painting a lot, even more than when he was little. He still doesn’t think his art is great, but he hopes its simplicity and love will touch your heart, just like the Creator touched his. Ramone’s artwork can be seen at ramone-romero.blogspot.com.
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