Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Few More Trees I Have Known and Loved

Tess's note [on the previous post] set me ruminating again about trees I have known well -- we could do the same with foods, houses, clothes, cars ... and of course people. I wonder if young people today with their regulated "play dates" and school pressures and hours on Facebook or My Space and TV and fairly constant input of music via Ipod or boombox or their own guitars -- doesn't every house with a teenager have at least one guitar? -- do they have a feeling for the trees in their life?

The picture above is a willow. We had a big willow by the driveway. I thought it was the most graceful tree in the world. I was told willows originally came from China and I saw them in the designs of the plates and saucers in Blue Willow pattern that we had.

Mainly Tess's writing note reminded me that neighbors had a quince tree and my mother once made quince jelly. I didn't like the quince very much, it seemed tasteless and a bit coarse compared to apples. But I was not then a fruit gourmet because there was a huge [or so it seemed] pear tree in our yard which I climbed often. I ate the green pears, not because I was hungry, and not because they were delicious, simply because they were there -- and sometimes I got stomach aches because of it. We did not have an apple tree but I do remember apples with worms in them, it always seemed more of a tragedy for the worm than for me when I found one in an apple.

Not a tree but a berry experience -- there were patches of wild blackberries and raspberries in out woods which my mother used to go pick and I sometimes went along. We always made sure to take whatever dog we had at the time because we were both afraid of snakes in the thick brambles and the dog's crashing about usually following a rabbit's scent would scare the snakes away. It must have been true for I don't remember ever actually seeing a snake in the brambles. Those berries were SO good! The cobblers Mom made with them were my favorite summer dessert.

There's a great temptation to wish children today could have such experiences and I'm sure thare are still many rural places where they do. Rural kids generally feel they are missing the excitement in the world. I suppose we have to get older to count these experiences among the fine things of life. Then, too, some people are attuned to nature and some not. Lots of young people are interested in ecology, biology and the like ... tree hugging, mentally or physically is a fine thing. Oh, and Treebeard, the Ent, was one of my favorite creatures in The Lord of the Rings.

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