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Love Letters from a Sycamore Tree

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tree sycamore thru leaves

The sycamore that grows in my backyard, near the house, has been leaning (away from the house) ever since a major hurricane years ago. I think it was Bertha in 1996. With each hurricane since, I go outside and give the tree a hug before things get dicey. “Hang in there,” I murmur. I think it was during Floyd in ’99 that I watched the roots heave upward a few inches with each powerful gust tugging at the branches. “Hold on,” I whispered from the back door.

Tree sycamore trunk 2

The sycamore held on through the storms, through my divorce and through the raising of two teenagers. Now, a smaller trunk grows from the base of mother sycamore, leaning in the opposite direction, providing balance. The mother tree seems to be leaning less, like  maybe at a 5 degree angle instead of 20 degrees.

Some people would have cut this tree down as soon as the lean was discovered.

But not this tree hugger.

Each year the leaning tree sheds it’s bark as sycamores are known to do. This past summer, I noticed natural heart shaped holes in bark offerings. Maybe they were there before, and I just didn’t notice. I don’t know. Life is what you make it, and I like to think that maybe my old friend sent me summer valentines.

Heart bark w plant     Heart in bark green

The wide leaves are just starting to turn brown. Soon they will begin to fall.

Trees give us shade in the summer as their leaves soak up the sun’s energy.  If you have as many trees in your yard as I do, you can save a lot of money on air conditioning.

As the weather cools, some trees let go of their leaves, letting the sun shine through to warm us in winter.

Is it a coincidence that trees benefit us this way?  Are we just lucky? Or are we blessed?

Then there’s the whole oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange thing.  Trees make the stuff we need to breathe in, and we breath out the stuff they need.

Do you ever stop and think about how amazing and wonderful this planet is?

This poem is from Earth Prayers 1991, Edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon:

Few things that grow here poison us.

Most of the animals are small.

Those big enough to kill, do it in a way

Easy to understand, easy to defend against.

The air here is just what the blood needs.

We don’t use helmets or special suits.

The star here doesn’t burn you if you

Stay outside as much as you should.

The worst of our winters is bearable.

Water, both salt and sweet, is everywhere.

The things that live in it are easily gathered.

Mostly, you can eat them raw with safety and pleasure.

Yesterday, my wife and I brought back

Shells, driftwood, stones and other curiosities

Found on the beach of the immense

Fresh-water Sea we live by.

She was all excited by a slender white stone which

“Exactly fits the hand.”

I couldn’t share her wonder.

Here, almost everything does.

                                  Lew Welch

Whether it’s luck, or the grand design of a generous Creator, we need to be more thankful for our planet, and particularly thankful for trees. If a tree’s growing in an inconvenient place, try to move it while it’s still small. Put small seedlings in  pots and give them away. Give them a chance.

Tree at Old winter Park

What have you learned from trees or from nature?

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Christian, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again, available at amazon.com.

3 thoughts on “Love Letters from a Sycamore Tree

  1. I am drawn to trees, flowers, the sun, the sand, the stars. Basically, I love to be around them. It’s really a relief and an escape for me to be away from this city where I live in where almost everything is grey and cold. We do not have parks here and we do not have gardens. 😦

  2. It’s natural and healthy for you to be drawn to nature. Just writing your comment draws you closer to those living things you love. I’m sorry there are no parks or gardens in your city. I wonder how you, and others who feel as you do, might create more green space? Is there an area where you could plant some trees and shrubs, or one tree with some flowers around it? At a school, maybe? Do you have any potted plants? I’ve grown a couple small avocado trees from pits, though I have to bring them inside in the winter. Some house plants can even grow in jars of water. I hope you will let me know how it goes. Thank you for writing.

  3. Pingback: Loving Trees | Loving Me, Too

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