Friend Tree (ms)

I sat at the table the other morning drinking my first cup of coffee, maybe two weeks or so ago it was. From the back window I can see across our vast suburban estate and I try to look out each morning to see what if anything is new. There is a maple out back that grows wildly. So earnest is it in its efforts that we bring in a crew of tree trimmers every few years to keep it in check. Left to its own devices I hate to think how big it might become. On a few of its limbs, though, I spotted that morning the first signs of buds on one of its many limbs. Nothing big, just a small bump every so often but it was a start.

Fast forward to this very morning, same table, me doing much the same thing. This time it was clear the big maple that could crush half our house if it had a mind to had been making progress. Tiny leaves now stood out on the gray limbs, their little arms glistened with dew in the first sun to brighten a morning in many a day — nice.

If I were of a mind I could write a new report about this tree almost every day of spring. It represents what we see all about us this time of year: an ever-changing show provided by nature, lit by the sun with special effects provided by the wind. The show plays daily on streets, in parks and backyards around these parts. Each morning the curtain goes up and one never knows what scene might be running that day.

One year two birds took a liking to a spot on the branches of our tree and built a little nest. Before long the usual things happened and soon there were three mouths to feed. We used binoculars to watch the progress of the little family but unfortunately missed the moment when the young ones took flight and ma and pa became empty nesters.

Most often things are not so dramatic. The tree evolves through spring and the tiny leaves grow bigger and bigger until they reach maturity and through the summer keep our house from baking in the afternoon sun. The tree is pruned in such a way that most of the leaves are near the ends of the branches so looking up from the base reminds me of looking up at the inside of a green umbrella, a green umbrella touched with gold and framed in blue.

I am amazed each spring that all this comes from bare branches that have withstood the perils of winter. An unseen hand throws a switch and friend tree begins its work, rousing from its winter slumber to slowly grow through spring to become a thing of engaging beauty by early summer. I drink my coffee each morning and watch it move along the path and I am happy for it and for me. Spring has brought it round again and life is renewed and so very good.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on May 6, 2011.

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