Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A tall tree

How about some Borland? We haven’t had any for a while now.

“Every garden should have a tree nearby. A tall tree with broad bole and spreading branches, preferably with branches that start well down the trunk or with a low crotch from which a boy might climb. A tree which spreads its roots where it springs from the earth, firm based and strong against the storms.

This is a tree for man as well as boy, the man who has climbed his trees and now can sit beneath them in understanding. For him those branches offer shade and hospitality when the sun has seared his neck and the garden is only half weeded. He can rest his back against that broad bole in Spring, when the spading is half done. Weeding and spading that younger hands once hastened through.

There is reassurance at the foot of such a tree, as well as rest. The years have added to its strength and stature. The wind, the rain, the ice and the blistering sun have all gone into the toughness of its fiber. Its roots strike deep into the soil and find sustenance in the old, old hills.

Youngsters must climb trees, to look out across a world that is misty with adventure. New horizons can be seen from tall trees when one is young. But the time comes when one can sit at the foot of such a tree and see even further than the eye could reach from its highest branch. There are times when one can see all the way to Tarawa and Anzio and Guadalcanal and Cassino.” - Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons

Borland adds the footnote for those of us too young to remember that Tarawa, Anzio, Guadalcanal, and Cassino were battlegrounds of WWII.

The tree in this photo is one that I pay particular attention to on the days that I teach, because I pass by it on my way to the college. This photo was taken in late March when I began taking a photo every few weeks to track its progress through the seasons. I missed visiting for a few weeks when the semester first ended and on my most recent visit I found it in full leaf. It grows in a picturesque setting, on a slight rise beside a dirt road – set apart from the farmhouse and outbuildings that share the property.

10 comments:

Cathy said...

Good choice, Laura. Isn't that lovely? And your tree photo is perfect. I live in a woods, but there's not a good climbing tree here. Gosh. I don't know where the nearest climbing tree would be. (Truth to tell: I was kind of a chicken as a kid and didn't attempt many aerial assaults. Wish I had that young body today. I'd give it try:0)

John said...

Lovely photo. It has a wonderful combination of colors, between the deep blue sky and the reddish ground.

Lynne said...

I was just looking at "Sundial of the Seasons" yesterday, thinking you hadn't posted Borland in a while.

Jayne said...

Beautiful photo. Trees are so expressive just standing there in their stately glory.

Mary said...

You found what I've been looking for - a tree standing alone against a nice sky, uncluttered and without overhead electric lines...

That's a beautiful photo, Laura and Borland's words really make it nice. Nice post.

dguzman said...

I have a similarly located tree near my house, and I keep thinking I need to photograph it once at the height of each season but I never have. Maybe I'll start now, when it's in full leaf and beautiful, surrounded by freshly plowed fields.

Sandy said...

I like the way you photograph trees, and Borland is always a treat!

Dorothy said...

What a beautiful tree...such strength and character. Lovely post, Laura! Enjoy your time off this week.

Larry said...

The way you capture photos of trees has a nice impact.

-I remember a nice story about a boy who climbed a tree when he was young-you could here what the tree was thinking throughout the story-happy to have the boy climbing-
The story progressed through passing years-the tree missed the boy-
In the very end the tree was just a stump-and the boy an old man-The tree was happy to have the old man's company as he sat on all that was left of him-just a stump.

Mark said...

This is a great tree, I can easily see your attraction to it.