I have loved this poem ever since Beaver recited it for Miss Landers so many years ago. It just sums it up for me~ TREES! They offer shade on a hot summer day and home and sustenance to so many creatures, and when their time is done, the very fiber of their being gives us lumber for our homes and logs for our fires.
Out my window stands a tall evergreen. He was our very first Christmas tree in our new home almost forty years ago. Now towering above our roofline, in my mind’s eye I see my daughter, this tree and a box of lights all in a wheel barrow, riding to the house. We placed the potted tree on a table in the bay window, decorated him for the season. Today the decorations secured to sturdy branches are three different swings adorned with grandchildren, just hanging out. Almost teenagers, they push with their feet, gently swaying as they converse with each other on matters I know, are of great importance. The flicker and the woodpecker have left a pattern of holes along his trunk and pitch trickles down, sticky and sweet. Dark~eyed juncoes flit from the feeder to the high branches and hummingbirds zip and zoom and briefly rest. Lately I have noticed his needles thinning and a some branches seem to droop. I’m hoping for a few more years for him and I pray I can let him go peacefully when his time is up.
My siblings and I grew up on twenty acres of mostly woods. Lots of tree climbing and fort building happened at our old home place. My dad cleared and fenced a couple of acres for pasture and in the middle of the grassy field stood a giant Douglas Fir who my brother and I named “Big Mike”. We would take our picnic lunch up there and spend a lazy afternoon. Big Mike was a real friend to us. I think we could feel him talking to us as we rested our backs against his solid trunk. I can totally relate to the tree hugger movement. I don’t mean the activists who chain themselves to a tree to save the spotted owl (that is a different story), but the folks who wrap their arms around a tree out of pure love and to receive the natural flow of energy a tree emits. Hug a tree for at least five minutes and you will feel and absorb the vibration. In Japan they practice “shinrin~yoku” or forest bathing. In Iceland forest ranger, Por Porfinnsson, says, “When you hug a tree, you feel it first in your toes and then up your legs and into your chest and then up in your head.” Sounds like love to me!
During our current days of ‘stay home, stay safe’ and six foot social distancing, doesn’t a hug sound wonderful to you? I think I will go hug my tree right now!!
Peace. Love. Amen.