Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tree Planting

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."  ~Nelson Henderson

Young trees are vulnerable little souls, easily damaged by deer and other animals.  That's why the tree farmer puts these plastic sleeves around their tender trunks for protection.  The farmer has to periodically check to make sure the sleeves aren't too tight for the trunk as it grows.

The Sentimental Sally in me remembers the big elm tree that grew beside our old stone house on the farm.  Its roots were above ground, so I pretended the space in between the roots were separate rooms of my make-believe home where I entertained ladies in fancy dresses, serving them tea in my tin teacups that I pretended were shiny silver.  My tree was my space, and nobody bothered me there. 

Who doesn't love trees?  Squirrels use them as cupboards, birds build nests in them, kids climb on them, and dogs pee on them.  Everything on Earth that breathes depends on the oxygen they release into the air.  Trees add value to our property and provide place for us to lean back and relax when we grow weary.  Their silence nourishes our souls, and their perseverance and strength teaches us how to stand tall in all kinds of weather.

While hubby was checking out a fishing hole in one of our nearby rivers, I stayed in the car with the fuzzy one.  This big old tree was close by.  A tree fairy urged me to save the moment, and I obeyed.  Such a regal tree, out in the middle of nowhere.  But, in the tree's youth, it, too, was a slender and vulnerable bit of a thing. The years passed, it weathered harsh storms, and all the while its trunk grew wider and sturdier to sustain the weight of its growing responsibilities.  The tree fairy was trying to tell me something.  How silly of us human beings to judge ourselves through the eyes of vanity.  To the tree, a good foundation is critical.  Why should we be any different?