We talked with Kristin Kaye, author of the upcoming novel Tree Dreams, and creator of the Tree Dreams tree tagging kits, which features this beautiful field guide Kristin created with us. We wanted to learn more about the project and how Kristin uses Scout Books in the kit, so we sat down and asked her a few questions.
Can you tell us a bit about the Tree Dreams project?
A few years ago I was working on my upcoming novel called Tree Dreams about a 17 year-old girl who lives in a Northern California logging town. She has a deeply mystical relationship with the redwoods, but struggles with how to share what she learns from the forest, especially in a place where few value the language of trees. The way the character resolves her dilemma inspired me to do something similar in the ‘real world.’ So I combed through my research about forests, found quotes about stewardship and the ways we are interconnected, teamed up with the amazing design studio, Cumbersome Multiples, and created Tree Dreams tree tagging kits. Pretty soon Tree Dreamers were tagging trees with their dreams of interconnection in places around the world, across the U.S. and teachers adapted Tree Dreams for the classroom.
You originally created a zine for the first volume of the Tree Dreams Field Guide. How does volume two of the Tree Dreams Field Guide fit into the project as a whole?
Tree Dreams: A Field Guide to the Nature of Interconnection is the book of quotes and facts about forests that people use for inspiration when Tree Dreaming. Scout Books was a perfect template for us to work with for so many reasons—we needed something small that people could travel with, use in the field and also fit nicely in the palm of their hand. And we also loved the fact that Scout Books is a B-Corp, which aligned with our own values related to scale and caring for the environment.
There are a lot of fantastic quotes in the guide. Do you have a favorite?
There are so many good quotes! That’s why I had to create a book to collect them all. But if I had to choose one that is especially relevant now it is a quote from Mother Teresa: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
What’s in the Tree Dreams Kit?
The Tree Dreams kit consists of Tree Dreams: A Field Guide to the Nature of Interconnection, tags and twine. People post photos of their tree tags at treedreams.net.
If you could ask our audience to do one thing, what would it be?
Take five minutes a day (or more!) to be in nature. Take a walk. Breathe. Sit and dream with a tree. Even just a few minutes can shift your perspective and open up a whole world of possibilities. Or in the words of Leonardo da Vinci: Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.
Huge thanks to Kristin for taking the time to speak to us about Tree Dreams. We were excited to find out that the Tree Dreams novel just received an awesome review from Kirkus: “In brilliantly onomatopoeic prose, Kaye shows how Jade comes to several epiphanies about her tree dreams while also coming to know the people that her family considers enemies. Throughout, the author relates the protagonist’s tale of redemption in delightfully sparse language, like a long poem in which small details matter, every word counts, and images are so cogent that they anchor readers in the fictive reality like tree roots… A superbly written tale filled with realistic, engaging, and quirky characters.”