Monday, May 31, 2010

Dream Tree

I planted a tree today. I dug the hole, mixed in some fresh compost dug up from the steaming bottom of the pile, loosened the roots from the compacted soil of the sapling and placed it carefully in the hole. I filled it half way with soil, then watered, and finished filling, pressing down on the last layer, firming up around the base of this tiny life. I was so focused on the job at hand that my next thought and the one following made me sit down hard on the wet ground around this tree I so carefully planted. My first thought was how lovely it will be to sit in the shade of this pretty red maple on a hot summer day....my next thought was the bare fact that I will be long gone before this tree is large enough to cast a cooling shadow large enough under which to lounge. I had to confront my mortality with a wallop of reality all in a few short minutes. I pushed aside the thoughts of my limited future on this planet...if one is alive, one is dying, it is the way of life.

I instead envisioned a picnic blanket spread out under the canopy of my lovely tree, a child's laughter coming from yard beyond, maybe a puppy or two rolling and play-fighting....a scene from an idyllic summer's day, far in the future, long beyond my time. It is a labor of hope, the planting of a tree when one is past a certain age, hope for the promise of a future, a sweet dream of a peaceful world where children can play and picnics can still be had beneath the shade of a beautiful red maple, planted by a dreamer on a sunny spring day long ago.
May it be so, and not just a dream.

2 comments:

Jeff- in the Berkshires said...

Trees are such a wonderful expression of hope. Though we might not see the mature fruits of the labors I believe that a part of us lives on in them, just as the souls that planted the glorious trees that we enjoy today.

If I sit in the breeze and listen, I imagine the voices of those who planted it, just as you have.

It is the optimist that plants the hardwood.

Be well.

janet said...

May it be so!

You've inspired David to replant our crowded little red maple from our frontyard roadside jungle to a friendlier spot out back where we can watch it grow.