Over the course of my life I’ve been greatly drawn to nature, especially trees. I spent a good part of my young life in the woods making teepees out of branches, pretending to be an Indian, respecting every bit of nature. Perhaps it was a past life.
I had no particular tree in the woods, but loved how they all worked together in a permaculture, which is something I knew intuitively. I’m only now learning intellectually the term permaculture, but returning back to the intuitive aspect of it. I do much better with intuition than intellectualism. At any rate, the woods was my comfort zone.
When I wasn’t in the woods I might be in the yard. I was usually under a tree or a clump of trees. I had a particular tree, an oak in the front yard, which I spread out a blanket under and played with Barbie’s or paper dolls. That oak is still there. It actually had poison oak climbing its trunk. Somehow I escaped the consequences. There were two different clusters of trees under which I played cars and trucks in the dirt. There was a weeping willow I loved. It was there during my teenage years. A dogwood stood the test of time until several years ago. A hickory was on one side of the driveway. I could barely reach my arms up to the first limb to swing on. I had a pet cemetery under this tree. I climbed the cherry trees in my neighbor’s yard to pick cherries, which I ate while sitting on the limbs. I had special trees for everything. I didn’t really have childhood friends. I had nature.
In adulthood I got away from nature, until the second phase of my life – remarriage, change of lifestyle in general. I got back into the woods. We are fortunate enough to live on a farm with lots of wooded land. In retirement I started spending my days out in the woods making walking trails. I went back to my childhood in a sense. I loved every tree. Although I have no special tree I have one I wonder about. It has a unique arch like shape, and I made the path go under it. At this point I slightly duck when going under it. There is something about the metaphor of bending and flexibility with this tree as I compare it to the lessons of life. It stands by a creek, and acts as sort of a gateway. I often wonder about its growth in future years – if the path my husband and I made will still be walked by others and what this tree will say to them.
I’m thankful for trees.