How lovely are thy branches…

“There’s nothing more beautiful than a tree,” Alain Le Goff liked to say…

“Look how they’re working …They’re linking the earth to the tree and sunsetsky. That’s very difficult, son. The sky is so lightweight that it’s always at the point of taking off. If there were no trees, it would bid us farewell …You can see that the trunk of a tree is a thick rope. Sometimes there are knots inside. The strands of the rope work themselves loose at each end so that they can fasten onto the sky and the earth. At the top they’re called branches, and at the bottom, roots. But it comes to the same thing.”– Pierre-Jakez Helias, Horse of Pride

I love trees. They give us shade, shelter, and oxygen. They hold the soil to the hillside, fruit on their branches, and our tire swings above the ground.

When I was a little girl I walked home from school by a property that had a line  of little fir trees which were left, unplanted and drying up, next to dusty holes that someone had dug for them. The trees seemed to have been forgotten and abandoned. My heart went out to them. I plucked one of the little firs up and brought it home to Mom. Mom tried to explain that those trees belonged to someone, but it did not compute – it was obvious to me that those trees deserved a better care-giver than the person who had left them, with their little roots drying up in the open air. Mom must have realized that if that tree was going to survive it needed to be planted post haste – so she found me a planter big enough to accommodate a tree’s roots, and provided a home for “Treesa” (the name I gave her). When we moved several years later, we brought Treesa with us and planted her on our new property, where she lived, grew, and prospered. (Treesa’s sister trees – the other little firs that had been waiting with her to be planted the day I walked past them – never did get planted, and didn’t make it.)

Every year a little fir tree on the path along Bellingham Bay slowly begins accumulating Christmas decorations on its branches. Why this particular tree was picked to be the path’s annual Christmas tree, I do not know. But she’s a very jaunty little tree, and it brings me great joy to contribute to her Christmas finery, and to see her all gussied-up for Christmas.

Christmas tree 2

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55: 12

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” – Psalms 1: 3

green Padden         winter trees in upstate NY 600 year-old tree in Deception Pass, WA      Adirondack winter trees (2) autumn trees            Bellingham tree autumn trees            Padden trees    boy in tree

 

all photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell

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2 thoughts on “How lovely are thy branches…

  1. A tribute to trees!! Thank you! My friend has a beautiful home with a view of the Columbia River that is incredible. She never understood why I always chose to sit on the side facing the forest rather than that of the river. It was the trees! When Stephen christened me the treehouse dryad, I knew he truly understood me. A wonderful post!

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