Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Neighborhood vs. Tree

Remember the Lorax from Dr. Seuss? He spoke for the trees. Sometimes I feel inclined to do so, too. I am seeing the results of my suburban neighborhood’s aging on the trees. They were planted when the houses were originally built and now they are tall and fully grown. But the needs of people and trees sometimes conflict as when branches envelop electrical lines. The trees end up being pruned into odd shapes to accommodate the wires. When I look at them I see awkward shapes and thwarted beauty. Sometimes I worry that the tree will split in half, as some have, or that the tree will have been pruned so severely that it slowly declines and dies. And yet, what to do about the wires that serve the houses?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Holding On

The leaves of the tulip tree are just starting to turn yellow. This is a switch from its usual habit when they change color and drop in late August in a flurry of advance notice that autumn is coming. I wonder what shifted the tree's awareness. Maybe it, too, wants to hold onto summer a tad longer. Perhaps today's shift into cooler temperature and constant rain will convince it that it is time to let go. I understand its reluctance as I put on my heavy sweater before I leave the house. Even though I love the fall season and October is my favorite month, a sense of nostalgia overtakes me and I yearn for the freedom of my sandals. Ah well, I'll go outside to hug my tree and reassure it that spring is only half a year away.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wild Wind

The wind was wild today. Forty miles per hour, the weatherman said. The branches moved as if they were in a dancing frenzy and the music was primal. I wondered how the birds were coping, if their nests were being shaken to bits or dislodged by the frantic activity of their normally stable trees. With all the noise I never heard the neighbor’s tree crack. The beautiful Bradford Pear had snapped in half. I wonder if it will be able to survive. I hope so. I would miss its beautiful flowering in the spring.