In preparation for the Yule celebration, Darcy Higgins asks a tree for permission to cut it down so it may serve as the Yule tree at Oak Spirit Sanctuary in Boonville, Mo., on Dec. 16, 2017. Higgins said that she always asks permission before harvesting plants or trees and that her own feelings let her understand the plant’s response, as do ecological indicators — such as how well the plant is thriving in its current environment and how well the environment would do without the plant. RNS photo by Mikala Compton

Kerry Lynn,

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