Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Tree

Today's post is a about a tree, and to a lesser degree, Father Nature, spirituality, animals and the meaning of life.

The tree in question is this:

Not because it looks like that, but it now looks like, after its been battered from pillar to post in the past couple of years, death warmed over. This particular tree has some family history behind it, as it was planted by my late father shortly after we'd moved to Newington in '69. So it managed to survive almost 45 years of bad New England weather, although in the past year or so, the weather and lack birds, conspired to send it on to the great mountain in the sky.

Yes, you read correctly.


Last year, with the economy being so crappy, I had to cut back on a few non-essentials, like birdseed. Because there was no bird seed to be had for the late summer of 2011, G & J's Excitingly Exotic Emporium of Ecstasy was closed for business.

And because it was closed for business, no birds came to visit the tree. And as hard as this is to believe, I think that deep down it bothered the tree

Yes, you read correctly.

Think about this scenario for a minute: Picture yourself as an old tree sitting in a quiet neighborhood. You're a bit weathered, got some broken branches, your bark won't bite anymore, but overall you're in good health. The one thing that you look forward to every spring and summer are your feathered friends from the mountain stopping by to eat some of the delicious birdseed, take a bath and to say hi.

Then for some inexplicable reason, the birds stop visiting. You can hear them merrily chirping away in the mountain and yet, they don't stop by to visit anymore. Without your friends stopping by to chit-chat, your days soon become unbearably long and dull.

Pretty soon, the sadness from being all alone becomes too much for you to bear, so you start thinking of ways to end your time on this wonderful little planet. Perhaps you decided not to stand as tall when the rain and windstorms start to hit. Or maybe instead of shaking off the snow with a snarl and a scowl, you choose to open your branches as far as they can go, as if to say, "take me, I'm yours."

To be honest with everyone, it really did look like,that for all intents and purposes, the tree simply gave up.

Anyways, I decided during the spring that G & J's should re-open. So I took the remaining bird feeder (the other one got demolished during storm Alfred) and moved it to the tree, and filled it up with some birdseed that was purchased earlier in the day. I also spread some on the ground near the tree, the bush were a few smaller birds had made a nest, and near the birdbath.

And waited.

And waited.

By the middle of the week, the wife pointed out that the tree was producing new buds. Not quite believing what I was told, I went out to see for myself. Sure enough, the tree was indeed sprouting some new buds.

Elated over the prospect that the tree still had some life left in it, I spent the next couple weeks making sure that the bird feeder and birdbath was kept reasonably filled. However, it still seemed that the feathered friends quotient was still sub par. Thinking about it for a spell, I got nailed with a blinding case of the obvious.

So last week, I went out and bought more birdseed, a dual bird feeder and some suet. Taking the old suet hanger, I transplanted it to within ten feet of the tree, hung the filled-to-capacity bird feeder, and waited

Sure enough, the tree's inner chi was completely restored, as if once again became the center of its own little universe. Birds of all kinds now stopped by to eat, bathe and chit-chat.

Do trees have souls? Some people think that they do and some think that they don't.

As for me, it's quite possible that a tree has a soul.

After all, without a soul, do you really think that the mountain would come alive in symphonic pleasure every Spring and Summer?


  1. I always figured trees had feelings, just slow and perhaps ponderous ones. It's a lovely story idea, the tree missing the birds. A great children's story, I would think.

  2. Without getting too Buddhist-y or white-lighty on you, I'm inclined to believe they do have a kind of soul, or awareness. Absolutely.

  3. Of course I like to think that trees have souls. Post a pic when it's all leafed out, would you?

  4. I know trees have great energy! I live in the Appalachians amongst some real giants. I don't want to get to mushy-ushy here, but when I lived in Homestead, Florida after hurricane Andrew the trees were lopped off (at about 8 or 9 feet high) and mangled up everywhere. Honestly, it felt like they were crying [for miles....and (then) more miles.] I mean (here) it 'felt as if' they were crying or screaming, if you will. It was really awful (and darn hard to forget.)

  5. The bird poop is the fertilizer the tree likes

  6. Charles: Thanks for the tip. I tell, you do come up with some neat story suggestions.

    I would say that their feelings are more methodical than slow or ponderous.

    Chris: Buddhist-y? My new word for the day. :D

    I would agree that they have a awareness that does project itself to their immediate surroundings, both good and bad.

    Lynn: Most definitely. I do have an old picture connected to that particular link that shows it blooming in better days, but it will be interesting to see what its like now.

    LouvreGirl: Many thanks for stopping by to comment.

    I had a post up a couple of weeks ago in which I tried to describe a similar experience with Cedar Mountain.

    We had gotten badly spanked by a freak winter snowstorm last October that not only caught everyone by surprise but really decimated a large chunk of the state. It was only this past January that you were able to see the devastation done, and it really did feel like that the trees were crying out in pain.

    Very freaky and memorable.

    Bearman: Absolutely! And with the amount of birds starting to visit, it should be all set for the rest of the year.

  7. You know? That gives me an idea for a children's book.

    This makes complete sense to me. Good for you and the Jesus tree!

  8. Oh PS I didn't mean for that last part to rhyme. Ha.

  9. M: So long as I can get a teeny tiny bit of credit along the way. :D

    And unintentional rhyming can be fun, because it can certainly bring a smile to someone's face when there ain't no sun.

  10. It's been my experience that trees have personality, if you take the time to get to know them. There was a tree in my old neighbourhood that used to stop me every time I walked past it so that we could hang out for a minute or two. Other trees are more standoffish. I guess this tree is an extrovert and needs birdy company.

  11. S.R.: Very original way of looking at trees, as I've never really thought about trees having personality.

    But I suppose that if they had a soul, then it would make sense that they would have personality and character as well.

    I suppose you can say that a tree is the ultimate individualist.

  12. This is a beautiful post! And I think you're right, actually.

  13. Well, they always say that talking to plants helps them grow (although I can never get plants to grow -- I must not be much of a conversationalist :)), so I suppose it makes sense that a tree would thrive more in the presence of its feathered friends... :)

  14. Debra: Thanks.

    I do enjoy living where I do (a little slice of country smack dab in the middle of suburbia) so quite often in brings out the philosophical/spiritual side in me.

    Lisa: I believe so.

    I've been watching the tree for the past week now, and the amount of birds that have been visiting has been staggering.

    I think the tree is in seventh heaven right now.


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