What is your favorite kind of tree?

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Trees are one of the most common elements of great mythological stories. Somehow they show up in stories from nearly every culture. Perhaps it is because they are so prevalent across our world. I expect you can find trees on every continent except Antartica (and I would not be surprised if someone had a small bonsai tree in an office down there. Literature is full of them in prominent roles from the Garden of Eden to the mythology of the Vikings. From the Redwoods of California to the maple saplings that get trampled underfoot, trees surround our lives everywhere.

We eat their fruit and build our homes from their bodies. We enjoy the shade of their leaves and admire the beauty and scent of their blossoms… well, some of them anyway. We decimate them and repurpose their particles into paper, which has held out hopes and dreams, our histories and debts for centuries. Nations and have risen and fallen with ink on paper, through the life of a tree.

At the end of time, when the world is finally fully judged and redeemed, Revelation tells us that there will be a tree whose leaves will bring us healing. I have wondered if this is the same tree that was in the Garden of Eden. This could be a contender for one of the best trees. Maybe you have a tree of your own that is your favorite – perhaps one you climbed as a child or that holds a hammock you enjoy reading in. Maybe your favorite tree is an evergreen that you decorate in these winter months, or a fruit tree you harvest in the late summer months.

Sometimes we ascribe thoughts and feelings to these trees, or a sentimental value that cannot be scientifically proven. Some people may toss this out as nonsense, claiming “a tree is a tree”. However, there is enough evidence to at least recognize the presence of trees in important parts of our lives, even if we cannot know what thoughts and feelings they might have, if any at all. They are there, as a part of God’s plan, in our lives.

I leave you today with a video that shows my favorite trees, perhaps some of the most important trees in my life.

First Frost

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Supple droplets coalesce

in morning mist, whose cool caress

embraces all in loneliness,

sinking into shallow ground.

Follows then a breath of air,

whose northern accent chills the fair

unfinished droplets, held with care

there upon my glass found.

Shining into crystal likeness,

bright and white and round –

they harden without sound.

Beaded strings of peasant pearls

twined about in crescent curls,

crawling up my window, whorls

unbroken in a line.

There beset with misting sweat

they bind together, tight and yet

their seamless sheen and coverlet

grows gently as a vine.

Silently, with silver strength,

they reflect the moonshine –

until the night’s resign.

Morning brings a glassy sight

a world engulfed in frost-fire light

and painted crystalline and white

in heavenly decor.

The dusted streets stand glistening

while festive boughs are listening

to birdsong southbound christening

the mountain to the shore.

The fragrance of festivity

wafts in and out my door –

til spring returns once more.

Two Roads – Frost

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Robert Frost (1874–1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920.

  

1. The Road Not Taken

  

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

 

And sorry I could not travel both

 

And be one traveler, long I stood

 

And looked down one as far as I could

 

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

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Then took the other, as just as fair,

 

And having perhaps the better claim,

 

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

 

Though as for that the passing there

 

Had worn them really about the same,

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And both that morning equally lay

 

In leaves no step had trodden black.

 

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

 

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

 

I doubted if I should ever come back.

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I shall be telling this with a sigh

 

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

 

I took the one less traveled by,

 

And that has made all the difference.

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Golden

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Golden,

across the heavens,

a path of light reaches

down

and lays out

a life

unspoken

and awaiting

the final booming

call

to return

to the sky

again.

 

 

Some say life is a circle

“What comes around goes around”

Or something to that effect

Maybe it’s a square

And we go around over and over again

That’s why we turn so many corners

But always end up back where we started

God help me

Let life at least be a spiral

Drawing me closer and closer to Something

to You

 

An Acrostic (from Blackbirds)

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Crawling onto new feet, edging soundlessly, slinking into offal now

O Foolish

Animal

Sick inverted narcissistic nuisance ever ready

 

Tearing open new infractions that eat

Into

Souls of lingering death

More yet

For leaving every single hair

And washing away youth

A numb dirge

Welcomes every dog

Minded young

Headless endeavor and roars twice

Too often

Singing into nowhere

 

I taste sorrow

Reviving every velvet entrail like rotted yolk

Interspersed

Just old in natalry

Bending each candle across useless seasons each

Making yellow

Sunlit openings under languishing

Icicles

Cold and narrow, never over time

Waning into nothing

 

All lamenting a song

For orphaned rites

Memorized epiphanies

They held in silence

Waiting ever in great hope that

Incantations

Hold orders loosing dreams

Inside

Canopies and needle nets our troubles

Hate our loyalties yet

Beneath each ardent reverie

 

Fane or risen

I

Halt among vagrant eaves

Garnishing ivies, vacillating, entirely new

Until persuasion

Tripping hearts easily

Shame hope again, perhaps even

Mistaking You

Guarding our dead

Gardening all vacant entrances

Marking everything

Towering over

Worlds ever after remember

The Price of Holding Beauty

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a tree is a tree is a tree

even bound around with silver sheen

glassy crowns that pull them down

low bows an homage

an image to honor

a harsher master whose radiance stills

the hustling frenzy when life endures

idyllic hysteria with blindness to boot

set down to smooth sailing

we grab for the railing

and on we go wailing…

“Oh the rapturous glamour of nature encased

how it burns off our ears and the skin of our face.”

the crystal firs surrounding her

are whistling themes through colored rays

that croon like bells and bleed out knells

the gathering scatters

their flattery patents

along tabula rasa and a handful of flaws

like impotent seedlings with no protégé

nor future thereafter save swift dissolution

cathartic dispersal

this groaning rehearsal

of cold penitential

Ice Covered World by mamomof5.