As you have discovered this month, posts beget posts. Linda, from Teacher Dance stirred something in my mind as I read her post about trees this week. As she described the special trees in her life, I tried to make a connection to any trees that I have known and/or loved.
The first one that came to mind was a weeping willow. Actually there were two of them in our backyard. When we moved into this house I was just starting high school. I thought those trees were magnificent. I loved the way the branches cascaded down like a fountain. But all those thoughts changed as I got to know these trees. They were forever shedding small limbs that acted like whips in the hands of my brothers. It was a perpetual job to go out and collect these limbs.
As you fought your way through the draping limbs (that I once thought were so lovely) to the inside of the canopy, there were small biting gnat-like bugs that would cover you. I shudder as I remember the bugs crawling along the back of my neck. If that wasn’t bad enough, the weeping willows blocked any breeze that tried to reach our house. No fresh air passed through those branches to cool the inside of the house (days of no air conditioning) when they draped onto the ground. To remedy this situation, my mother would attack the tree with a huge pair of clippers and give the tree a haircut. I wish I had a picture of the tree trimmed. It was a blunt cut, straight across as high as she could reach. However, it served its purpose, air could get to the house and you were not covered in bugs from running into the branches when mowing the yard. Yes, I like the look of a weeping willow. No, I will never put one in my yard.
The other tree that came to mind was a baobab tree. Now that’s an odd tree, you might be thinking. Yes, it is, but it has been in my mind since my high school days of French class. We read Le Petite Prince several times during those years. The prince was always plucking that tree out so it would not overtake his planet. That tree intrigued me. I had never heard of it, so I researched it. That my dear readers was not a simple task in those olden days before our friend Google. So can you imagine my sheer delight when I was in the Flower Dome of the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore this December and I discovered the cool tree I was admiring was a baobab tree. That is one special moment, as it brought the little prince back to me, but no one around me had the slightest inkling of what was going through my mind. Check, there went a bucket list item that I didn’t even know was on the bucket list.