Friday, September 4, 2009

REVIEW: THE LEGACY OF LUNA by Julia Butterfly Hill

(I apologize for the format of this post, blogger was giving me issues this AM and for some reason is not putting my paragraph breaks in.. grrrr!)

The Legacy of Luna
by Julia Butterfly Hill
Harper Collins c. 2000

What would you do to save the life of one tree?  When Julia Butterfly Hill climbed the branches of Luna, an enormous redwood in Northern California, she had one mission in mind... save Luna.  Little did Hill know that that single act would sear her into the pages of environmentalist history.  She would spend a total of 738 days living on Luna, her feet not touching earth for over 2 years.  All for the life of this one incredible organism and even more for the strong message the saving of this one tree conveyed.  But this story is so much more than that.  It is not a "tree hugging"  angry memoir, but rather an uplifting journey into the human spirit and a journey into Hill's very soul and we stand as witness to her incredible metamorphisis.

When I almost died in that mother of all storms, my fear of dying died, too.  Letting go of that freed me, like the butterfly frees itself of its cocoon.  I began to live day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath, and prayer by prayer.  Before I knew it, I had reached the hundred-day mark I swore I would never see.
The Legacy of Luna begins with Julia's brush with death in an automobile accident, and her year long stay in the hospital.  Upon release she stumbles upon this section of the redwood forest and there she finds out about how environmentalists are living atop this enormous redwood named Luna.  She decides without much preamble to take her turn in the sky, tree sitting among Luna's branches and living on the teeny tiny platform which was barely enough room for one, but would, at times, accomodate three people and their supplies.  Thinking she would only tree-sit for a few weeks, she begins to get reports that the millionaire logging company is not backing down on its plan for hacking down all of the hundreds of years old trees in the area, including the ancient and beautiful one Hill was living in.  Despite incredible physical pain, hardship, winter, little food, Hill perserveres and begins to understand how we are all connected not just as human beings, but as all living things on this earth. 

One thing about this book, is you will be inspired to do more. While living in Luna, Hill takes recycling to a whole other level. It is fascinating to read how ingenuitive tree-sitters must be with scant supplies.  It makes you look at how you live your own life and the often times incredible needless waste we accumulate day after day.

 This book came out before "greening" our world became the "thing" to do, before Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and before we found out that we must indeed to something, or we will quickly hit the point of no return for our beloved planet.  That's why, perhaps, this book was so powerful for me back then.  There was little in the maintream media at the time about such things.  And I had never heard of a woman actually LIVING IN A TREE FOR 2 YEARS!  Hill did, and her story will have you intrigued and flipping pages, even amongst, at times, her very new age take of life as we know it.
RATING:  3/5

2 Blabs:

Jenny said...

I feel like I just read or saw something about this recently. No, I know I saw something b/c I can picture the girl's sister..

OH!! I just realized as I was writing this. It was on an episode of Grey's Anatomy or something, lol! Something similar to this story. I didn't realize it was true. (This was a true story, right?)

Lisa said...

Yes it is in fact a true story! Incredible, eh? That's cool that it was featured to some degree on a tv show!

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