"I read a story about the penguins in Cape Town, that they become a pair when the male hands the female a branch of a Baobab tree, to start building their nest. I also found out that these penguins mate for life, and if penguins can do it... screw the ring. I want a branch of a Baobab tree."
That's what Francesca wrote to me. I went looking, and I found Treedom. I bought a Baobab, and so I married her.
When I received this message from Alessando Prosperi on Facebook, at first I thought that he was joking. But he wasn't! He had heard an interview with me on the radio (specifically, an interview where I was being mocked for leaving my job to "go plant trees"), and then looked me up on Facebook to write me that message. A few days ago, taking advantage of the fact that we both live in Florence - where, by the way, Alessandro is quite well known for having founded Postini Fiorentini, a private postal services company - we met for lunch. I was curious to meet him and hear this beautiful story told by his voice.
"Well actually, the wedding came about for the reasons for which you usually get married: love, children, a project together. But the story of the Baobab - which dates back to 2015 - was the one that linked our story to a small gesture, but of great beauty and symbolic value".
Certainly finding a branch of a Baobab tree would not have been easy without Treedom, but Alessandro's resourcefulness should not be underestimated. In 2015, Treedom was less known than it is today and finding a way of planting and gifting a Baobab planted on the other side of the world, well, it was no small feat.
"To be honest I looked up "Baobab branches" and "Baobab trees" on all the search engines, until I found Treedom. I thought it was incredible and even more incredible that an initiative like that was located a short distance from my home in Florence. So I went straight to the offices to ask for - and get - my Baobab".
Today Alessandro is a happy and busy father and husband. And it's nice to think that one of our trees played even a small part in his love story. The most beautiful reason to plant and gift a tree is most certainly as a gesture of love.