A Little Happier: An Ancient Story Gave Me a New Appreciation for the Beauty of Trees

In ancient times, according to Book VII of The History of Herodotus, the rules Xerxes I, known as Xerxes the Great, was marching to Greece. As he traveled through the countryside, Herodotus recounts, Xerxes “came across a plane-tree of such beauty that he was moved to decorate it with golden ornaments and to appoint a guardian for it in perpetuity.”

I’ve seen trees like that myself. So beautiful, that if I could, I would deck them with golden ornaments and appoint guardians so that they would be protected forever.

Since I’ve read about what Xerxes did, I’ve watched out for those trees more carefully.




Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.