Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. (Anne Frank)
BEAUTY is a wonderful word to ponder for the Christmas season. Just think of all the beautiful decorations, a fresh snow, the sound of seasonal music, and excited kids. And equally as wonderful is this quote from Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl (1942 – 1944).
And actually, in my mind, the word and the quote are closely linked because one of the things Anne found so beautiful during the time she was in hiding from the Nazis in the Annexe building in Amsterdam was the sight of an old horse-chestnut tree that grew outside one of the windows. It was by the changes in this tree that Anne knew what season it was. Anne wrote in her diary, “As long as this exists, how can I be sad?” That’s some powerful inspiration from a tree! (This is the tree with a support structure that saved it for awhile.) ———————>
“During the two years she spent in the secret annex, the solace Anne found in her chestnut tree provided a powerful contrast to the Holocaust unfolding beyond her attic window. And as war narrowed in on Anne and her family, her tree became a vivid reminder that a better world was possible.
“Anne’s tree would outlive its namesake by more than 50 years, before succumbing to disease and a windstorm in August 2010. But today, thanks to dozens of saplings propagated in the months before its death, Anne’s tree lives on in cities and towns around the world.
“In the United States, The Anne Frank Center USA’s Sapling Project is bringing 11 of these precious trees to specially selected locations across the country. As the saplings take root, they will emerge as living monuments to Anne’s pursuit of peace and tolerance. In the process, they will serve as powerful reminders of the horrors borne by hate and bigotry and the need for collective action in the face of injustice.” (http://www.biography.com/news/anne-frank-the-sapling-project)
How beautiful is that?! The official website for The Anne Frank Tree used to have a virtual tree on which you could place a note written on a leaf. You could go to the site any time and find your leaf. It may have been they were only doing that while trying to raise money to help save the tree. But Anne’s tree has fallen now, and it’s been a good ten years or so ago since I participated. They have a new website and I didn’t see a reference to the virtual tree on there, so in all probability they may have taken it down.
You’ve probably guessed that the link I see between the word BEAUTY and Anne’s quote is the TREE. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas for me without a beautiful Christmas tree with lights and garland, tinsel and ornaments, and a star or angel on top. And, like Anne’s horse-chestnut tree, the traditional evergreen fir Christmas tree is a powerful symbol of hope and everlasting life. And I think with all the awful, hateful stuff that’s going on in our political situations around the globe, a BEAUTIFUL Christmas tree would be “a vivid reminder that a better world was possible.”
Stocking — Harula
Horse-Chestnut Tree — http://www.annefrank.org/en/News/Anne-Frank-Tree/
Tree outside the Annexe building — http://www.annefrank.org/en/News/Anne-Frank-Tree/
Fraser Fir Tree — www.citytreedelivery.com