Monday, November 8, 2010

Hug a tree


I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines - Henry David Thoreau

My husband and I were driving down a familiar road on our way to church this past Sunday. We've put a lot of miles on this road over the last few years. But,to my dismay,something looked out of place during this particular trip. The road had changed. It looked different. Felt different. Almost barren. It didn't take me too long to realize that the large trees that had once lined this familiar road were now all missing.

As we drove further down the road my eyes drifted to the stumps that remained. There had to have been at least twenty-five to thirty of these beautiful trees that had been cut down to mere stumps: these lovely mature trees. I suppose that the city decided they were getting in the way of power lines. Or roads. Or they were too much maintenance. Or they wanted to put in another gas station. I remember them trimming the tops every spring as they continued to grow.

I have an odd affinity for trees. They fascinate me in a way. Such tall and magnificent pieces of nature that always let us know when the seasons are changing. I love the blooms and green buds that peek out when Spring begins to arrive. Just that small sight of green after a long dreary winter is refreshing.
I love the full bodied trees in the summer. The vibrancy of life all around. I especially love watching trees change into acts of color as fall passes through. They paint a landscape and allow me to drive underneath them: their leaves floating all around. Trees in the winter stand as structural pieces of art. Their arms twisting and turning up to the sky.

I find that trees make the seasons extra special. They can grow and grow and grow....and just keep on existing. Trees will be around when people have come and gone. Trees seem to be a piece of history. I like to imagine what trees would say...if they could speak. What stories would they tell about the area in which they are rooted?
There are very few things as enjoyable to me as spending an afternoon among nature: walking through paths of trees.
That road has lost a piece of it's charm. It no longer has the same "welcoming" feeling to it. It seems more stark and empty. I am reminded that we are called to be good stewards of what we are given. Once nature is stripped away, it's not as easy to "put back". I am challenged to be thankful and aware of what has been created. Even trees.

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