- Ada, Oklahoma


June 26, 2013

Nothing like a tree


Ada —

Their actions have reason, but they come at a cost to themselves, the future, and, of course, the trees.

My favorites are the oaks.  I’ve got three that are of good size. One of them is a little salt oak that was sent home from school with my middle daughter.  It sat in a pot for a year or two until we figured out a place to put it.  We put it there and it did nothing.  Then we moved it to a sunnier place, and it took off.  The other two are due to forgetful/careless squirrels.  One of them we put where the salt oak had been, and it’s doing just fine. The other is right out my window now as I sit typing. 

I remember the day I rescued it.  Jean wanted to cut it down as a weed, but I simply couldn’t. The white space after the period and before the “T” took me ten minutes to write.  I was trying to come up with some rational reason why I couldn’t cut it down, but then I realized there was none. I simply couldn’t. It was alive and I didn’t want to kill it.  I’ve killed trees before and since, don’t get me wrong, but this one I couldn’t, and I am glad as it is truly a handsome tree.

Barring ice storms, accidents, or acts of city government, this oak tree outside my window will outlive me.  I will die. Jean will die. Our children will sell our house.  Someone will move in and inherit our trees.  They might, and perhaps rightly, come to the conclusion that we were tree-crazy.  But, regardless, they will be affected by something that we’ve done.

I am taken with the notion that an acorn is, in fact, and oak tree. (Said less well but more precisely, acorns and oaks trees are time-slices of the same entity.)   It is a radical notion. It marks me as a tree-crazy fool. Not all acorns live to have birds roosting in their limbs after all; that is not nature’s way.  But were it not for that acorn, the birds would have to perch on the electric lines instead.

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