She is a dedicated wife to the elder tree she married in 2019 and visits it five days a week without fail.
All of us, at one point or the other, have experienced an overwhelming love for nature. We'd like to believe that most of us are concerned about the environment and would do as much as we can to conserve it because let's face it, if there's no earth, there's no "us."
But some amongst us are so crazy in love with nature and its mysteries that they build lasting relationships with them. Here, by lasting relationships we mean marriage. Yup, it may sound bizarre but Kate Cunningham would probably disagree with you on the bizarre part. After all, it's like an attack on her married life!
In 2019, the mother of two exchanged vows with an elder tree at Rimrose Valley Country Park in Sefton with friends and family as witnesses to her special day, reported The Daily Mail. The bride who was dressed in an olive green dress, a home-made skirt, and green pumps then changed her surname to "Elder" by deed poll after the species she married. Now one year later, she's celebrating her first anniversary.
Leaving her boyfriend at home as she rejoices the successful union of one year, Katies says that she and her tree-partner have no plans of divorcing as of now because they're in love more than ever, as per The Mirror.
According to the 38-year-old, marrying the elder tree was the best decision she ever made in her life and she'll always be "tree-voted" to her husband. Recalling the time last year, she said, “I think getting married was one of the best decisions I have ever made." As she celebrated the day with two friends and some elderflower champers, her boyfriend and two kids preferred staying at home.
Last year, she told The Daily Mail that although her 15-year-old son was embarrassed by the whole ordeal, the rest of the family supported her decision, including her boyfriend. She said, "My boyfriend is very supportive of my decision. He's even helped make props for the ceremony."
She continued, "My oldest son was initially embarrassed when I told him I was going to do it, but he decided to come to the ceremony. It means a lot to him to be there." Kate then revealed that her father helped her organize her "big day."
The former teaching assistant doesn't regret her decision and feels that everything "happened at the right time." In fact, she believes that her marriage has made her a better person. “It’s something which has made me feel a bit more confident about myself. I don’t care about what anyone else says," she said.
“Marrying the tree has given me a new purpose. I’ve changed my name to Elder. So even that gives me a whole new feeling. It fits in with married life as well, I feel like a changed person,” Kate added, according to The Mirror.
Before you think the mum, who's now a carer for her son with autism is weird, all of this is for a reason. It was a means to save Rimrose Valley Country Park floras from being cut down by Highways England for the construction of a bypass.
The local residents campaigned against the construction as it would not only destroy the beautiful park but also pave the way to traffic, noise, and pollution. The proposed work is at a halt right now due to COVID-19 but Kate hasn't lost hope and is in anticipation of a bigger anniversary party when the campaign is successful in its goal.
Kate visits her husband five days a week as she likes "the peace and quiet" of the place. “Often I like to talk to the tree, I say hello and thank you for your good energy," she revealed. According to Kate, her relationship with the elder tree has made her "stronger" and "more dedicated to the whole campaign than ever before." She added, “Trees will always come first. They do keep us alive."
The environmental activist had set up "Marry A Tree Day" to encourage more people to tie knots with local trees and shrubs. Recalling the day she found "the one," she said, “One day I was looking around tree hunting. I was like ‘oh yeah nice, nice, nice’ as I looked at the oaks, but as soon as I saw the elder, I thought ‘that’s the one.'"
The uniqueness of the elder tree with intertwining branches and its color felt "magical" to Kate. She said, “This one stood alone amongst the tree. I just feel like trees are people. Sometimes you just know. You know if you feel attracted to someone or smile at them as you walk past, there’s just a natural attraction." She added, “Trees and flowers are the same. I like the story behind the elder tree."
For Kate the campaign is not just about saving her tree-husband and its family at the Rimrose Valley Country Park, it's something bigger. “As much as it's about this campaign, I'm thinking about the destruction all across the world. This world is quite beautiful and it can't all be doom and gloom," she said.
We hope the best of years to you Kate and an evergreen life to your husband.