Reflection on Congress
By Chris Müller
OJ Müller Landscape Contractor Ltd.
This past summer I stumbled upon a wonderful book titled, The Hidden Life of Trees – What They Feel, How They Communicate. In this book, author Peter Wohlleben describes the forest he manages in the Eifel mountains in Germany and takes an introspective look at the lives trees live in communion with one another. His message: “If every tree were looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age, [and] every tree would suffer.”
Armed with Wohlleben’s message, I accepted the opportunity to participate on the Congress Show Committee — adding to my current role as LO Durham Chapter provincial board rep. Having attended Congress consistently for the past decade, it seemed appropriate to provide what little value I could in return for the many years I have benefited from the efforts of others. I began my turn at Congress and I am all the better for it.
Over the course of about a week I watched as the large exhibit halls transformed from vacant swaths of concrete into the orderly avenues of booths featuring our profession’s finest goods and services. I reconnected with old friends and also made many new ones as we worked to prepare the New Product Showcase. Under the guidance of the seasoned Congress Committee, I found myself invested in the finely tuned mechanism that organizes, prepares, constructs, operates, and dismantles our profession’s premiere event. I also discovered in the course of this experience that no association treats their volunteers quite so well as Landscape Ontario.
We are uniquely blessed to be a part of a profession that is dedicated to mutual self-improvement. We are inherently connected, much like the interwoven roots of an old beech forest, and I am pleased to say that I have begun to give back to an association that I have received so much from over the course of my young career.
A tree is not a forest to be sure, but if a few trees can learn to work together — there’s no telling where we might grow.