formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Giving Tree

I take my dog to the park every day. It’s my favorite time of the day, really, no matter when we go. Our little city does a really nice job of providing and maintaining our green spaces and my favorite park is the largest in town. It always has been. When I turned 21, I bought myself a cocker spaniel puppy and I brought her to that park every day until I moved away a few years later. Now, 26 years down the road, my big, fuzzy boy, a 5th birthday present for my girl (though he’s really mine, you know), enjoys the same space. It’s got everything – a running trail, ball fields, playgrounds, picnic shelters, a creek, a pond, ducks, geese, and all manner of small critters (I even saw an otter there once!), and trees… lots and lots of trees.

But this post is about one tree in particular. It’s one of the biggest in the park – about a dozen feet in circumference and probably 7 or 8 stories high. I don’t know how old that makes it, but I’m guessing it’s pretty old. I think it’s some sort of Oak, though I’m not very good at identifying trees (or flowers, or poison ivy… but that’s another story entirely), so I’m not sure. I like to think of it as an Oak, though, as it’s definitely a mighty looking tree. It sits at the edge of the pond and sometimes, when the water is still and the sky is clear, you can see the tree reflected in the water, from one side of the pond all the way to the other.
I love that tree.

I’ve sat under its cool green canopy in the summer heat, reading or writing or just daydreaming. I’ve sat under it in the fall, its leaves blazing in red and orange and yellow autumn garb. I’ve admired it covered in snow, and I’ve watched it go from bare and stark in winter to lush and green in spring. A long time ago, I kissed the first boy I ever truly loved under its branches… and in the very same spot, years later, after my marriage ended, I kissed the first man who made me realize I would indeed be able to love again. When my father died, I sat under its barren winter branches and cried, my heart shattered… and a few years later, in the spring, I picnicked under those same branches, glowing with new life, with my beautiful, happy little girl.
That tree is a part of me.

This morning, I sat in the wet grass with my dog and looked across the pond at that tree – my tree. I thought about everything it’s given me over the years… and I thought about how many other people have kissed and cried, laughed and argued, daydreamed and planned under its branches. I thought about the shelter it’s provided – shelter from the sun and rain, from stress and strife, from heartaches and fatigue. 
And I thought, what a noble, noble life my tree lives.

My tree in winter...


Ronda's Rants said...

Beautiful. My daughter gave the book The Giving tree with a really-great-this-is-what-you-would-want-your-daughter-to-say-to-you inscription. Trees are beautiful and they are such great listeners!

Diane said...

Ronda, I got that book as a gift years ago, too. I always felt sorry for the tree and thought it could have also been called, 'The Taking Boy.' I didn't like him very much. ;)

Zuzana said...

Dear Diane, so happy to see you back posting.;) I have had a small blog break of my own.;)
You know you are my oldest blog buddy.;) So much has happened since we met here.;)
Love this post as I can relate to the sense of comfort and companionship trees can give, I have dedicate many posts to that subject.
Your tree is wonderful and your sentiments so beautifully expressed and I can relate so well.;)

Ladybird World Mother said...

I love this post. Like you, I have a tree like that but it is in the garden of the house where I was born, a huge Cedar... such memories from it, just like yours. Can we see a picture of yours in the summer too? It looks spectacular. LOVELY post! xx

Live More Now said...

Hi Diane! {So good to see you again as well} :) I happened to marry a man who loves trees almost more than life ... he would really appreciate this post (as do I). Case in point: baby's name will be Aiden WOODS Campbell (after trees). Anyhow, loved your post. It reminds me of a recent walk around Greenlake here in Seattle, and seeing a sign placed where a beautiful tree used to stand - the sign talked about how much the community had loved and cared for the tree, and how despite illness in its last days Seattle arborists had done everything they could to save it and prolong its life, only cutting limbs when they became dangerous, etc. I love your acknowledgement of the love of trees. Especially while our favorite ones are still around. :) xoxo

Amy McMean said...

What a great post and AWESOME picture. The first thing I thought when I saw the picture was "you could climb to the top of the world on that tree"

Darin said...

I know that tree! I love that tree, too! Nice post!

Jenners said...

Oh ... this is just so lovely!!! It is like the Shel Silverstein book, which never fails to reduce me to tears. (Just don't cut down your tree and make a boat or a house out of it.)

And since we last communicated, I have a dog in my life (a puppy in fact) and it is a wonderful thing to have to walk the dog -- it gets you out there and in touch with the seasons.

So glad to hear from you!! Looking forward to getting caught back up with you!

hebba said...

Very nice.

(btw...have you ever seen the parody "The Taking Tree"? It's hilarious!

Sometimes Sophia said...

Ode to an Oak... What a lovely piece you've written! What amazes me is that you've lived in the presence of that tree for so many years. I've moved a million times - as do many people. The stability and nostalgia of being in one place is remarkable. Well-done, my friend!

Anonymous said...

A nature lover after my own heart.

Nice write and read, diane.