Tag Archives: Trees

Night Trees

16 Jan

The other night, I was walking the dog and noticed that the sky looked weird and cool. It especially looked weird and cool through the bare limbs of the trees. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and took a picture.img_2212

The next night, I was walking the dog and noticed that the sky looked weird and cool. It especially looked weird and cool through the bare limbs of the trees. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and took a picture.img_2213

Since I took those pictures, I have been close to writing a post that conveys in words what the pictures convey in images. However, nothing has come to mind. Heck, I even looked up poems that may fit the pictures.

Despite my best efforts, the pictures will be left to speak for themselves. In fact, that is probably what pictures are for.

The Woods Behind the House

14 Jun

There are woods behind our house. In the late afternoon, it is nice to sit on the deck and feel the shade from the trees. It is always relaxing to hear the leaves rustle in the breeze. Many times, animals such as rabbits and deer emerge from the woods and hang out in the yard.  Having woods at the edge of the yard is a lot better than having someone looking back at us from their deck.image

Sometimes, my imagination takes me to a darker place when I look at the woods behind the house. I wonder what is going on in there. What creatures are peering at us from the shadows? Was that sound of a branch breaking a deer or something more sinister? What was that snorting in the darkness?

Several years ago M. Night Shyamalan tried to capitalize on The Sixth Sense with a movie called The Village. The story follows a group of people who live in a village surrounded by woods. Apparently, monsters live in the woods and an understanding has been reached between the two groups. If the people will stay out of the woods, then the monsters will stay out of the village.

It is a mediocre movie with an ending that can be seen from a mile away, but I liked one scene. It is night and a guard stands in a tower watching the woods. Torches have been lit around the perimeter. Every sound the guard hears takes him closer to hysterics. He had no idea what was making the sound, and his imagination was taking him deeper in despair.

It is a great scene that I think about when I look into the woods behind the house.

I know what these woods are all about. It is the edge of a farm, and a huge house sits not too far away. However, I like to wonder what else might be happening, and I do not think that I am alone.

The woods have always been a dark and mysterious place. In fabled tales, it is the home of elves, evil witches, trolls, dwarves and other assorted creatures that people who wander into the woods may encounter. Do these tales have a basis in reality, or do they derive from other dangers?

Bands of thieves. Ferocious animals. The risk of injury. The risk of getting lost.

Perhaps, the dark forces of the woods comes from the Christian belief in Adam and Eve. Heck, if messing around with one tree can get you kicked out of paradise, then think about what messing around with a bunch of trees will do.

The woods have always been a place of wonder – a place we can see but not know what is happening within. Do we dare take a few steps in and explore?

That is what I think about when I look into the woods behind the house.

Hanging On

21 Jan

Monday was unseasonably warm in this part of the world. That has changed drastically in the past 24 hours, but the fact remains that Monday was a nice day. My nephew and I went to a movie, and, as I waited for him, I took a stroll through the yard. I studied the woods behind our house and noticed the contours of the land. It is a lot easier to see with the foliage off the trees.

That is when I began studying one tree in particular. My wife had mentioned it before, but this was the first time that I really looked at it. The tree is not in the woods. It stands alone in the yard. However, it stands out because the dead foliage is still hanging on.Yard Tree

How are the leaves still hanging on? We have had storms, rain, strong winds. Yet, the dead leaves remain.

Why are the leaves hanging on? Are they waiting to resurrect with the coming of Spring? Will they not have to fall off to make room for new leaves?

I know a few botanists, but I am not one. This could be a type of tree that does this every year. It could be a freak of nature. I do not know the answers to any of that, but the leaves on the tree made me think about people.

We tend to hang on to things. We hang on to life to the very end. We hang on to memories, both good and bad. We hang on to anger and hang on to grudges. We hang on to pain. We also hang on to love and happiness. We hang on to those fleeting moments when everything is perfect. I suppose all of that means that we hang on to the past because that is what makes us who we are.

I used to hang on to a lot of things and keep them bottled up in my mind. I hung on to mistakes and lucky breaks. I hung on to pain that I caused and pain that was caused me. I hung on to those empty moments when I thought there was nothing in my future. I hung on to the darkness that protected me from the world.

I do not hang on to those things anymore. At some point, all of those old feelings slipped away, and my mind focused on the present and the future. All of the pain and the scars vanished into thin air. The best part is that I know when that point was. It was when my wife said, “Yes.”

At that moment, the heavy burden of the past went away, and I did not have to hang on anymore. No matter how many mistakes I made. No matter what happened, either good or bad. They all led me to that moment and where I was supposed to be.

Everyone hangs on to something, and I hope that, at some point, they are able to let the leaves fall. I did, and new leaves, new life has arrived.

I Didn’t Intend To Write a Post About Trees

2 Oct

During this late afternoon, I rode with my stepdaughter as she drove the Gator. For those who don’t know, this is a Gator.Gator

She is 11 years old and loves to drive. In fact, she asks for a golf cart every time a birthday or Christmas comes around. She’s a good driver and watching her smile is the best thing about riding with her. I rode with my nephews when they were kids, and taking a spin with her brings to mind all of those fun times.

The Gator belongs to my parents, so we took off from their house. Then, we went into a neighborhood behind their farm. The neighborhood is filled mostly with older people who have been living there for decades. It has large lawns that are neatly kept, and, as we drove, I noticed a few people in their yards.

One man was on his mower. His next door neighbor was checking his driveway that had just been paved. A lady was watering her plants, and another lady was on her way to do the same thing. At another house, a brother and sister, who were probably visiting their grandparents, were playing basketball. I waved at them all, and a few of them waved back.

The people were interesting, but I noticed something else when we went into another part of the neighborhood. In one yard, a large tree stood. It was perfectly shaped, and the yard around it was perfectly kept. Obviously, the people who own the land around the tree take great care of it and noticing this made me begin to wonder. Did they plant the tree, or was it there when the house was built? Have they lived there long enough to watch it grow to its current majesty? Have they helped it along?

I began to think about a tree in the yard where I grew up. There was a notch in it that fascinated me. It had this strange shape and stuck out far enough that I could almost use it as a seat. When we played backyard football, that tree served as the goal line. Making it to the tree meant I had scored a touchdown. The notch that I tried to sit on is now over my head. The tree grew along with me and stood watch over my family.

It saw me ride a minibike as a kid and drive a car when I turned 16. It saw my dad walk up and down the driveway to get his mobility back after a stroke. It watched my mom work in the yard. It guarded my brother as he and his friends played basketball in the driveway. Heck, it watched my dad hit free throw after free throw as he beat me at H-O-R-S-E. I guess you could say that the tree and the other trees in the yard witnessed our family history.

Trees are like that. They have stood as sentinels over the events of our past. My parents now live on a site that used to be a hotel. When I walk through their yard, I wonder about all of the different things that have taken place under their shade. In the Victorian Era, they saw hotel guests strolling underneath and while other played croquet in their shade. They saw the hotel burn and remained as my parents built their home. They also served as decor for our wedding reception, and I bet that was not the first wedding that took place around them.

I am not sure what made me think of all this, but something hit me while we rode the Gator. People and trees grow old, but the trees last longer than we do. They are there for us, but they are also there for past and future generations. I have never considered myself an environmentalist and do not get overly wrought when I see a load of logs go down the interstate. However, when the trees that I have grown up with go away something in me goes away as well. I bet the people we past by this afternoon feel the same way.