Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: Sycamore Survivor

tree sycamore thru leaves

Every year she sheds her bark

And often leaves me gifts.

Heart in Bark on green

She’s survived many hurricanes

Diana, Bertha, Fran, Floyd, Florence…

Bertha, or maybe Fran, in ’96

Stretched her roots

And lifted her skirt,

But she reached down deep

And held on for dear life.

She’s leaned westward ever since –

Not over the neighbor’s house

More over the backyard.

She grew a second trunk for balance.

Tree sycamore trunk

When I lay hands on her

I can feel her humming.

If experts say she must come down

I will have to go away.

But she is safe for now.

She releases her round stars

And waits for another spring.

sycamore

sycamore tree seed balls

Thursday Tree love is a photo feature at happinessandfood.com hosted on 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.

Learn more at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-58/


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My Old Friend, The Sycamore

tree-sycamore-thru-leaves

I lay my hands on her again.

Like that first time

After I’d watched gusts lift her up

Again and again

Stretching her roots as she

Hung on for dear life to the earth

Causing her to lean ever since

to the west, over the neighbor’s yard.

Some would have cut her down

To avoid the risk.

But she has leaned like that

For many years

Through many storms.

In time, she grew another trunk

Slender yet sturdy, in the opposite direction

To balance herself.

Her roots reach down deep

To hold her strong and steady.

tree-sycamore-trunk

When a big storm approaches,

I go to her

And lay one hand

 On her huge rough trunk.

My other hand rests

On the smooth young offshoot.

I feel the energy

That keeps my hands

Joined to her.

We share strength

And a quiet knowing.

She has been with me

longer than most people.

Standing strong in the wind

__________________________________________________________

I wrote this for the sycamore tree that lives in my backyard. She’s still standing strong after Hurricane Matthew in spite of her westward lean. I imagined her roots holding on to the roots of the other trees during the storm.

After three days without electricity, the lights came back on Tuesday night. I’m still trying to catch up on blogs and emails. It will be a long time before I take electricity and warm showers for granted. But my friend and I never lost power.


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Love Letters from a Sycamore Tree

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?