Fifteen years ago, my dad had to cut down a Sycamore, giant and majestic, that he had planted when he built the house in the 1950’s. He left a very high stump, which soon sprouted and the new branches, themselves became a problem. They got in the way of power lines, blocked the view of ‘ and the mountains. Everyone fussed at dad, but he continued to just “trim” back the limbs.
Now my son has built a house next to my father and has become concerned that a tall poplar that dad also planted nearly 60 years ago could fall onto the house or damage property if we don’t cut it down. Not only is dad’s heart broken, I find myself grieving it too. I now understand dad’s feelings. It isn’t just a tree, even a majestic tree, it is a collection of memories, a diary of sorts. They are two trees, one ruined, one soon to be that deserved to be giants in some preserved forest. I see both myself and my children gathering sycamore balls, poplar blossoms, the trees were part of what “home” meant”
I have no answer, I have thought of ways to donate the wood and such but have found no affordable options. When I see a tall tree, still safe in the forest, I smile. And, as with the Sycamore tree, I can’t help but hope that sprouts will appear from that immense root system and at least be a reminder of what was and what should be.
It happens every March here in the mountains. Right after a cold spell, the sun will come out. It will warm the earth, causing flowers to bud and bloom. Those of us who love to garden will rush to the hardware store. We buy top soil and seeds. We dig up dead grasses, sprouting weeds.
Spring is here at last! A few glorious days of warmth. Fragile lilacs burst forth. We want so badly to forget what the unseasonal weather meant. It is not spring, not really, not yet. Grandpa called it Dogwood winter. I just sigh and call it disappointment.
I would love to spend a day in this era!
A little old man in a green top hat,
stopped by my house with a tip and a tap.
I heard the whip of a strong north wind,
and whispered, look over there my friend!
As I sat on the step, I stopped and looked over,
and there, I spied a four leafed clover.
I imagined his face, this jolly old elf.
And looked at the clover, quite proud of my self!
To say that my great grandfather was a n Irishman went back a few generations. His family began their trip tow hat was the the “colonies” in the 1700’s. Yet, they kept their Irish customs, the Irish brogue and considered themselves ” Irish” despite generations of being in America.
I used to give my grandmother a “Saint Patrick’s Day” card every ear. It always brought a smile to er face and a good story of her fathers love for the Irish heritage that had been handed down to him largely by oral history.
My grandmother always loved to hear her father’s laugh when something that aggravated him happened. A a father of 12, he would laugh and ay, “At least I don’t have any red-headed children.”
I always though that was an odd way to be thankful. As the generations progressed, quite a few red-headed descendants appeared. I am sure he would have loved them, and with a jolly Irish laugh, think of another way to be thankful for the little things that go right.
She walked along the well traveled path, only mosses and a shy fern dared to decorate the ground. Underneath the aging oaks, she sat on a stone, wiping a cold tear from her cheek.
“Winter,” she thought. “I hate it,”. She found a lidless acorn and threw it down the bank. She watched as the acorn landed and rolled until it hit a log.
A blur of white peeked out from the edge of the bark. Struggling against the cold, she slid down the bank to see what it was.
“Bloodroot.” she smiled, spring would be here soon. She walked back down the path with a little more vigor. Her hands warmed by a ray of sun as she emerged from the woods.