Do you ever notice the trees in your life — the ones you look to without thinking? When I was a girl, I’d look to the white pines that bordered our road. They reminded me of great kings and queens. I’d look to them when my dad’s headlights flashed a mile away.
Nowadays there’s an oak I look to in the corner of Peterson’s field. Its branches tilt as though a south wind permanently blows. It catches light, especially the golden light the sun throws at slate storm clouds. Sometimes a rainbow.
We have an elm that towers over our barn. The wind rocks her branches, and I see a big woman, her eyes closed, swaying as if to fierce prayers. She throws shadows on the barn and the mares.
A squirrel runs up a black walnut, across the branches until they become twigs. Then he crosses to the linden tree, which came from Berlin as a shoot in someone’s boot. I’ve heard an owl speak from that tree and been soothed to sleep by her call.
Christie Purifoy in Placemaker says, “Trees—even in the wilderness—are singing a song, but if we plunge ahead in accompaniment without first stopping to listen, and without letting ourselves be changed by the song, we may find ourselves leaving not beauty but crooked patios and poison ivy and heartbroken tears in our wake.” So today I urge you, look to the trees in your life, let them show you how to leave beauty in your wake.
I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.