Monday, May 11, 2015

The Old Girls Wear Their Finery...

Once a year the old girls surprise us... Not with their beauty, perhaps. It takes the eyes of love to say they have that. Most remarks I've heard are pretty straightforward, if not bluntly cruel. They are so ugly! Why don't you remove them from sight?


Well, THIS is why... And even the photos don't contain the magic, the mystique, the glory of being here in their presence. One by one, the grand old dames from the past, my past, blossom forth in beauty and with that once annually fragrance of new beginnings, graduations, weddings, and spring. I'm speaking not of old maiden aunts, sweet-faced neighbors, or dear friends from the past. I'm madly in love with the gaunt old locust trees that bravely cling in their semi-skeletal tenacity.. They defy the winds because, in truth, most of their limbs have been ripped away. Halloween trees all outlined in a stark silhouette against the setting sun or silvery moon.

But I find myself wishing to be outside, day or night, in the locust blossoms. I love to inhale their intoxicating benediction, a prayer of gentle grace. One tree is absolutely dead in all but its core, but from that central holy place, locust blooms still pour forth. As I breathe in the scents of my childhood, my heart takes the outstretched hand of my mother. Going back fifty-five years ago, I loved springtime beneath these same old trees so much. We had a picnic basket, a blanket, two collie dogs, Laddie and Tinkerbell, and a few cats, all named Sally. At one time there was a hill underneath the trees, a picket fence bordering the yard, and huge, well-tended rock gardens carefully tended... and we often sat there in the grass at noon, enjoying an impromptu picnic in the midst of the gifts of living in the country.

The trees. The trees. How many hours have I spent reading, imagination smoldering, propped against the trunks of these trees. And, of course, I've had many confidences here just between me and these trees. They have kept my secrets, and I've kept theirs.


Whether I see the blooming locusts from the windows or walk in awe beneath them, I'm sure the magnificent souls of these trees recognize and appreciate my heart of love for them. Oh, yes, trees have a heart and a soul. They can sing, groan, sway, break, and breathe. These locusts can cast forth fragrance beyond earthly knowledge. They can love me as much or more than I love them.


Woodman, Spare That Tree!

By George Pope Morris

WOODMAN, spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough!

In youth it sheltered me,

And I ’ll protect it now.

’Twas my forefather’s hand

That placed it near his cot;

There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy axe shall harm it not.


That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown

Are spread o’er land and sea—

And wouldst thou hew it down?

Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

Cut not its earth-bound ties;

Oh, spare that aged oak (locust)

Now towering to the skies!


When but an idle boy,

I sought its grateful shade;

In all their gushing joy

Here, too, my sisters played.

My mother kissed me here;

My father pressed my hand—

Forgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak (locust) stand.


My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend!

Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend.

Old tree! the storm still brave!

And, woodman, leave the spot;

While I've a hand to save,

Thy axe shall harm it not.









1 comment:

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...


Sorta how we felt, when the ancient Oak tree was cut down, by the woman who bought the property........