Guess you could call me a tree hugger. It’s not that I’m a big environmentalist or anything. It’s just that I often have the urge to give a beautiful tree a great big hug.
Today was no exception. A windstorm blew through Southern Ontario the other day, knocking down signs and toppling big trees.
At the far end of my street, it also toppled a small tree — pulled it right out of the ground, root ball and all.
It was a small cedar, one of a group of 10 planted by the city a couple of summers ago along the edge of the sidewalk. I’m not sure if it’s on city property or the lawn of the storage facility behind it, but no one had come by to do anything about it.
The other cedars stood in a line, strong and tall. But this one lay flat on the ground, leaving a gaping hole in the row, like a missing tooth.
There’s something so life-affirming about trees. A few years ago, when our Mountain Ash became diseased and needed to be cut down, I cried harder than when my first cat died. It was like losing an old friend. For months afterward, it pained me to look out the front window at that missing space.
So I had to try to put this little cedar back in the ground. I lifted it carefully into position and tamped down its root ball. Then, I found some chunks of earth and some snow and packed that around the bottom for extra support.
I don’t know if it will survive but I’m going to keep an eye on the little guy and check for signs of greenery going brown or other danger signals. I don’t actually know anything about the care and feeding of trees, so I’m not sure what I can do exactly, but I’ll try my best.
And, of course, you knew I would have to include this lovely little poem … could not resist:
by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
P.S. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree. Enjoy!
P.P.S. Jason Castro’s “White Christmas” on ukelele!