Monday, May 19, 2008

The poem in our backyard

Ours!
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"I think that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree."

That little rhyme, written by who-knows-who has always stuck with me from my childhood days. I think the reason I've always remembered it so well is because I agree so whole-heartedly with it. I LOVE trees. Love. them. Growing up in the Midwest, the streets we lived on were always lined with big, tall, majestic trees that had the grace and beauty of old age in the size of their trunks and the spread of their crowns. They were beautiful, and they gave a shady green haven to our summer days of riding bicycles down the street and playing in the front yard or swinging on the front porch.

I remember climbing the tree in our front yard in Minnesota all the way to the top, as high as we could possibly go, until we felt as if the whole world was beneath us. I remember the backyard in South Dakota that was so thick with trees and their shade that grass couldn't even grow. So instead, we dug holes with our puppy and picked apple blossoms in May. I remember the tree that stood by our garage in Nebraska, how there was one branch that stuck out just so, right below the roof. Perfect for our "tree house", which was actually just a thick board nailed to the top of the branch with some smaller boards pounded in the tree trunk for steps. Still, it was the ideal way to get onto the garage roof when mom and dad weren't looking, and it made a lovely place to sit and read in the afternoon when the sunshine was dappling through the branches and a breeze gently stirred the leaves, making that sound only the wind in the trees can make.

Now that you know the love affair I have with trees, you can imagine how happy and excited I was when we planted our very own tree in our very own backyard. We decided to go with a Chinese Elm-- not only are they beautiful (I've seen full-grown ones and love the way they look), they are supposed to be very fast-growing, resistant to disease, and they don't drop anything gross. Perfect! Here it is, planted safe and snug inside our "tree ring", the place that was eagerly waiting with open arms to give just such a tree its home. After we planted it one evening last week as the sun went down, there was a large part of me that wanted to throw my arms around its slender trunk and kiss it, in true Anne-of-Green-Gables-esque fashion. Well, I didn't do that. But I can't help but think of the picnics that will be held underneath its spreading leaves, of the dinner parties and quiet evenings on the patio in which it will take part, of the small faces it will shade and protect while childhood memories are being made. I know I'm a silly romantic, but I love thinking of all the things that will come to pass in this tree's lifetime-- of the things it will "see" as it stands there in our backyard. I can't help but hope that my own children will come to love and appreciate trees as I do. And I hope that they will think of THIS tree someday, years from now, and be reminded of many lovely, happy memories... just like their mommy, who can still feel the breeze on her face as it rustled through the leaves above that funny little tree-house.

11 comments:

Steph Corwin said...

What a beautiful tree, and I too just love thinking of all the things a tree would have seen before I came around. There is something about the age of a tree that gets me. I love where we live now because we are surrounded by huge mature trees that provide the most wonderful shade and house so many animals (that drive Brodie bonkers in his attempt to catch them). Congratulations on your tree and I hope you can see it grow and thrive in your backyard.

Talia said...

Yes, Steph, exactly!! I love that you got what I meant, and that you feel the same way. It's sort of magical to think of-- I feel the same way about old houses too. And, even though I love old things so much, now I'm discovering how special it can be take part in the BEGINNING of things, looking ahead instead. Every old thing filled with memories and surrounded by history was once new, after all! :)

Sarah Marie said...

This post was beautiful! I loved hearing about your different memories about trees in South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota. Your lovely description made me want to sit under a tree and read a good book. I love that you mentioned Anne of Green Gables! It's so nice to think about the memories you'll have with your new tree! Being a silly romantic is great!

alyssa said...

That has to be way exciting for you given there's next to no trees in Bakersfield ;) I love big, old trees too!

Yes I am excited for this week in TV, haha. But since everything is ending, I'm going to need to find something else to occupy my time. Sigh.

Band of Brothers said...

congrats on your first tree!! so exciting. we were donated one little tree for the backyard. we have yet to buy one on our own--what are we waiting for????Don't know! they make such a big difference.

Talia's Mom said...

That little poem was written by the male poet Joyce Kilmer in 1913. FYI the last two lines are "Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree."
Your tree is quite lovely. We can get pictures of the two of us dancing around it in 2 weeks!

Ashley said...

SO beautiful. Chris and I got married inside a tree, so i totally understand connections to them.

Thanks for sharing this post and the beautiful photos.

alyssa said...

So, I still root for david cook...but I'm pretty sure he's not going to win. But I am okay with that!

Jenny said...

I love that poem too, but I never knew Joyce Kilmer was a man! Your mom is like an encyclopedia :-)

Jenny McGee said...

P.S. I finally figured out how to comment on your site (I'm less than not very good with computers) so I thought I would let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog and seeing the pictures of your beautiful girls!

Sunny said...

Your tree is beautiful! I'm sure you'll love watching it grow. I love all that you've done to your backyard. It looks very nice.