foliage, roots & constancy

If you’ve glanced over at my Twitter feed today, you may have noticed that I’ve tweeted a photo of one of my most favourite trees. I felt compelled to take the photo not because it’s particularly awe-inspiring, but because I realised that I’m hardly ever walking past it at that time of the day (while the sun is setting), and I then realised that I’ve never taken a photo of this tree.

It’s the tree across the road, on the hill. It would be a sad day if this tree was ever taken down – either by machine or by nature (although it would be no easy feat either way).

I’ve seen the odd episode of ‘Gardening Australia’ but I don’t know enough about plants to tell you what kind of tree it is, other than that it is really big and really old (well, I assume it’s old because of its size, which has never changed in all the years that I’ve known it). Yet this tree is special nonetheless.

I like how its small leaves turn into confetti in autumn, even if they do have a tendency to blow in through the window, light as they are. I even don’t mind those big clunky seeds it drops (I assume they’re seeds – not sure what else they could be) because they’re fun to step on and kick around. Some things from childhood still haven’t left me.

More than all that, when I look at this tree, I remember those times as a kid when I’d daydream, ponder, or just think about nothing while looking at this tree – sometimes marvelling at it, sometimes just staring into space.

The question now, of course, is if this tree isn’t the favourite, then which one is?

Well, I don’t think I can pick a clear favourite, but there are two other contenders: the tall evergreen in the front yard, and the young apple tree out the back.

The evergreen has a similar pensive quality about it as the tree on the hill. We had to have it trimmed one year before storm season, and I remember being quite sad about that. I got over it, of course; the tree didn’t really lose anything from it.

As for the apple tree – my mum, sister and I planted that when I was about seven years old (that’s really just a rough guess – I don’t remember exactly when). We watched it germinate and grow; we saw it bear fruit (albeit small fruit) and lose it to birds and who knows what else. I still vaguely remember the day I realised it had grown taller than me – it’s like it was all grown up and getting ready to fend for itself…

I suppose some people might find it strange that I seem to have such an attachment to these trees. They’re just trees, right?

Well, maybe they are to other people, but to me they represent strength, wisdom and constancy.


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