The Healing Mathematics of Life in a Gesture: Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees
Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees gives a key to the awareness of connections between trees, the land, and all life. It shows the weight of a gesture in the revival of an apparently hostile desert, the role of an individual’s action for the community, either local or global, and also the healing power of that gesture. The tree-planting performed by the fictional shepherd has echoes in reality through Wangari Maathai’s action and the Greenbelt Movement and other individual or collective actions. The article tackles the importance of both a simple physical gesture and literature; it shows how one person’s behaviour can make a difference and change the world.