A Tree My Mom Loved

Posted on 5:34 PM by jr cline | 2 comments

Back in December, I posted a blog about trees.  Trees have been on my mind off and on ever since that post.
There have been many trees in my life, forests and individual trees.    They have provided shelter, fun, friendship, wisdom, counsel, and solace over the years.  

This is mostly about individual trees I’ve known over the years.

The first tree I remember was a giant fig tree in my grandfather’s back yard.   I’m sure it wasn’t as big as my memory of it is.  I was very small when I played in that tree and it taught me to love figs.

About the same time in my life I came to love the black walnut grove at my other grandfather’s home.  His trees were full of friendly squirrels he had rescued as babies from logging operations, hand raised, and released into the safety of his property.  They would eat out of your hand.   I played and worked around those trees and squirrels until my grandfather died.  He kept saving and releasing squirrels until the end of his life.  I learned so much about being in tune with nature there. 

I played in many forests as a child.  My parents moved often and every few years there were new discoveries to be made, new trees to befriend.   There was this mimosa tree with the lovely pink flowers and the grove of young pine trees where I used to lay and look at the clouds floating by, painting their stories on my imagination. 

The next single tree I remember was a giant oak in Smith’s Station, Alabama.   High up in its strong sheltering limbs we built a tree house.  Most of the tree house was a wooden boat we kids rescued from the local dump.   I spent several years playing in and communing with that mighty oak.   My secret sitting place was there with my friend the tree.

The next tree I loved was another fig tree.   Outside the second story window of my first apartment this wonderful tree provided its delicious fruit.   I would crank open the window, reach out, and find my breakfast.
There have been so many trees in my life: the bay tree where Bay, the horse, knocked me off her back.  She stood there under the tree limbs laughing, waiting for me to remount; the giant fir almost on the top of the ridge overlooking the valley that provided a nesting site for the Golden Eagles each year.  Then there was the Redwood grove where I felt I was in a holy place.   I camped there many times always reverently amazed in their awesome presence.

At my last home there were many old, magnificent, and powerful trees, trees that had seen so much more life than I had.  There was one I hugged all the time.  I would sit on the edge of the porch and talk with it.  If you can conceive of a tree being your friend then you know my relationship with that tree.   I remember its face so well. 

For the last 6 or 7 years there has been a shortage of trees in my life.  I think that says more about my state of mind than it does about trees.  They are still around, living, loving, and learning, while I am lost in my own thoughts.  It is time to go play with the trees again.


Twink said...

I remember trees of my childhood too... I just never thought about them til now. I remember one that produced some sort of berry in the spring and me and my lil brother would climb in the tree and eat berries until we had belly aches...lol. I still have no clue what kind of berries they were but it was a very big tree and the berries had a sweet taste. There was another tree that I used to love to just climb and hang out in. Again I don't know what kind it was but it was almost white and the wood was very soft. I carved my name in it several times. It was my favorite.

jr cline said...

The berry tree sounds great to me.

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