Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trees Like Old Friends

At the head of our drive stands a Silver Maple tree that is probably nearly as old as our home (which was a post-Civil War settlement). 
It isn't shapely, it's arms; which are large enough to be trees in their own right, veer out at angles like a hand with the fingers spread. 
As if this wasn't enough every year it drops what I am sure are the "most seeds ever".
No, I do it ever year. Each year without fail I find myself going crazy trying to keep the maple seeds out of everything.
Now if you are not aware they (the maple seeds) come down like little helicopters raining from above and all I can do is watch.
Hundreds of thousands of attempts at progeny spiral to the ground.
Every year we go round and round about this. I feel that it should be removed. The seed thing aside, if this thing ever comes down it will not only take out our power, any vehicle inopportune enough to be in the drive at the time, and cause damage to our home, but it will also take the power out for a mile radius easy as it spreads out over the power line poles.
However, when I point this out I am reminded by my wife; Alexsondra, that it has stood for this many years, it shows no sign of disease, and that it gives shade to our home.
Now, I wonder how did I find myself in this position. I am after all one of the most infuriated nature lovers you will ever see when trees are being bulldozed indiscriminately.
It has been a real revelation on perspective.
Anyway, the other day I was planning what we could do if the "tree" was gone. As I mused on this I began to think about the effects this would have. I began to think of the large "space" it would leave.
And then--- you guessed it I began to get sentimental.
I thought of how when our children were little; especially our boys who are now both adults, would climb up (I probably should not share this) and spit down on one another.
Apparently, this was great fun.
I remembered the woman I had gone to school with sharing how her parents had put a swing in that tree for she and her sister.Her mother had built a rock garden to the side of that tree.
In old photos of this farm taken some seventy years ago there stands "the tree".
It dawned on me how this tree; like each of us is a "player" in the unfolding story of this place.
Isn't that true for most things in our lives.
The spouse who gets on our last nerve, the children we feel like will never grow up, the friend or relation that always comes with so much "baggage" in their life, and even the "if I have to open this door one more time to let you in or out I will scream" four legged companion.
And when they are gone no more intrusions ---- finally we have our space.
Space....and time to reflect.
Thank the good Lord for this moment of reflection..... and to think all it took was one ancient tree and hundreds of thousands of maple seed pods.
Well the tree and I have made peace for now........but next year it is all on.

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