Category Archives: trees

I Run and I Write

Sometimes I will come to my desk and open my laptop, ready to write, and the words just flow. Other times, I will look at my screen and nothing will happen. When that happens, I often go out for a walk or a run. Something about the concussive effects of my feet coming into contact with the earth seems to jar loose ideas that are tucked up in the cobwebs of my mind.

To wit:

When the builders built our little houses on this street, they naturally planted trees to adorn the yards. Considering that the houses were built in the late 1950’s, the trees have had a good long time to grow, whereas the houses have stayed the same size. As I walked today, I noticed the trees in my neighbors’ front yards. Some are nice, but we are not the only ones who have a mostly clear front yard.

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NOT OUR HOUSE, NOT OUR TREE

Can trees be clutter?

Since we moved into this home 17 years ago yesterday, we have had at least 8 trees taken down. A couple were damaged by lightning or wind, one was threatening to damage the driveway with its roots, and others just seemed to dwarf the house and I wanted some space.

The summer sun pours down on us now, without the break which used to come from the shade of those towering trees. Sometimes I miss the trees, and wonder why I was so anxious to remove them. Maybe it was just a function of having so much on my plate, with thinking I had to be all things to all people for several years, homeschooling, answering the questions of my bright, inquisitive children, keeping the home fires burning, as it were.

We have also planted three trees since we moved in, so we have a net loss of five trees. Really six, when you include the neighbor’s oak tree which dropped a branch right on top of the first Good Egg (Previa). The neighbors were not required to pay for the damage to the car because “Act of God,” but at least they took the tree down so no more of our vehicles would get smooshed by their tree.

Most of the trees we had were deciduous, so the raking job was unbelievable. The evergreens we had threatened wires, sprouted sap, and covered a lot of space. In general, there were too many trees here. But now that they have been gone for many years, and my plate has settled down if only slightly, and my brain has mended itself and I realize it’s not up to me to solve the problems of the entire world, I can imagine that a few more well-placed, carefully chosen trees would be a nice addition here.

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Our tulip tree. We’ve had her since she was a baby seed.

Years ago, a tulip tree seed burrowed down into our backyard and grew. And grew. And grew. And now, we have this beautiful tree. And this encourages me to plant more, but I want the benefits of the tree without having to wait for it to grow! This tree is no more than 12 years old, and it grew from a seed.

And in the spirit of this meandering post, here is a poem by Ilan Shamir. Advice from a Tree:

 

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

 

Ah, Wilderness!

Yes, home again, home again, jiggety jig! It’s already Wednesday and we have been back since late Saturday night.

Sunday, I TOTALLY had to sleep to recover from the long trip home. Monday, I TOTALLY wanted to spend several hours helping my sister work through her garage full of stuff in preparation for their move Saturday. Tuesday, I TOTALLY was busy with Thing A in the morning hours, Thing B in the afternoon, and Thing C in the evening.

Finally, today I am here to tell you I am here!

Back to work at the store last evening. I enjoyed my five hours working. At one point, though, a store manager asked me to take on the responsibility of selling something (for a good cause) to at least four people during the evening.

And that reminded me …

While we were on vacation on the Island of Intermittent Internet, I had a realization …

The wilderness isn’t trying to sell me anything. It’s not trying to get my attention with more choices, louder commercials, or faster images.

 The wilderness is made up of many parts that all just do their own thing. Although there are some male birds who do try to get the attention of their female counterparts, the colors and sounds there are peaceful and unobtrusive.

No signs advertising anything. No evident government intrusion into my experience of the wilderness. Small notices — two buoys signaling “no wake.”

I realize not everyone loves the wilderness like I do! I wonder where others get this kind of quiet, this being apart from the noise and chaos of the city.

While I sat writing this post, on the bank of the channel, I saw:

Trees leaning out over the water;
Tangles of lilypads on the water surface;
Partially submerged branches;
The reflection of the trees in the water;
Slow-moving clouds;
Water skimmers;
Concentric circles appearing in the water, then dissipating;
Towering white pines;
The shimmering reflection of the water scurrying along the underside of overhanging branches like natural chaser lights;
Everything swaying gently in the breeze.

Even the canoes full of campers would make very little sound if the campers were listening instead of talking. “Let’s play the quiet game,” I heard one of them say. “OK,” says another, “I lose!”

There is a reality that we can damage our natural resources; the oceans, the waterways, forests, and I wonder what difference it would make if we considered that it is beyond humanity’s capability to create an ocean or build a mountain range or do anything more than observe or possibly explain how such ecosystems work.

One cannot find a person or government agency that put these lilypads in this lake (although one can believe in Someone who did). No one who decided where the actual lilies would float. No one who engineered the coasts, riverbanks, lakefronts.

Being in the wilderness always reminds me of the vastness of the universe. The quiet refreshes and calms me. I come away from such a journey with a peaceful heart.

Where do YOU find such refreshment?