Trees have always fascinated me. From childhood climbs to chestnut gatherings to planting hundreds as an adult, you could say I have affinity for these living, breathing magistrates of yards, forests, and parklands.
When I think about trees of my youth, several species pop into my mind’s eye. The scotch pine in the yard I knew as a young girl, the silver maple that divided our neighbor’s yard from ours, and the mountain ash flowering every spring, resplendent with orange berries in the fall, glanced at as I got off the bus in middle school. There was also a willow, so graceful but called dirty by my father who also loved trees – but not this one. When it died, it was never replaced.
Upon moving to the midwest in my mid-thirties, I didn’t notice the trees for a while. Busy with raising a young family and attending to the needs of three growing boys kept me from slowing down to recognize their beauty and the slight differences born of a different place.
The bur oak for instance, was never on my radar until I reached my fifties and entered my second chosen career as an environmental educator. By then, I was captivated with all things natural and anything awe-inspiring, seeing the world through fresh eyes opened by education, and those of my sponge-like students, curious about everything I chose to tell them about in our lessons. There was the crab in the school yard, the blue spruce that continues to survive despite a biology that makes it difficult, and many, many lilacs. One lilac in particular was used to educate school children about shelter butterflies need in our mid-western rainstorms, a place to huddle and wait it out.
Over the years, our own yard became filled with the fruit trees we could not help ourselves from buying. The rewards reaped from those trees have been bountiful – beautiful flowers, visiting bees, and of course, delicious fruit in several varieties.
I notice trees more. I read about trees more. I learn about trees more. This is just my personal narrative. Professionally, I’ve educated whole schools about how important forests are to our existence. I’ve met people who have made a birch bark canoe with their own hands. I taken courses just on trees and forests. In short, I love trees.
Since today is Poetry Friday, I feel compelled to write a poem about trees.
Out my window is an oak.
Tall and scrubby, just like some folk.
Eagles visit, and hawks, too.
Perched upon the top for a view.
One day, I’ll look and you’ll be gone
Toppled by development or a wind that blew too strong.
Then, I’ll miss your scraggly presence,
For now I’ll appreciate your grand quintessence.
© Carol Labuzzetta, 2021
Today is Poetry Friday. This week’s round up can be found at Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Jama’s blog is always a feast for the eyes! Thanks go to her for hosting this week’s round up!