Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Waiting Tree

A lovely old white oak was removed from our daughter’s school today. It was an ancient beauty with a full canopy and a heavy mast of acorns most years. It grew next to the kindergarten rooms and at one point, someone had built a seat encircling the trunk. Many pleasant afternoons, I waited under its peaceful green-ness for Lucy. She’d bound out of her classroom, that new excitement of learning still traced on her face. And we’d collect and gather every day from this point. The tree had suffered some lightning damage in the past few years, some branches bare of leaves. Alas, it’s ideal meeting location also sealed its fate. It was deemed “unsafe” and cut down and hauled away, limb by limb. The tree service men went about their work a little too gleefully. But the deed is done, with only the magnificent stump to remind us. Today, I salute the “Waiting Tree” and thank it for it’s gifts.

Ode to the Waiting Tree

It was there
Among others,
Long before the wagons breached the grassy hills.
It witnessed, as savanna gave way to prairie, and prairie to farm field, then neighborhood.
Spared once by a few feet, adding natural grace beside angled structure, it became shade-giver, place of meeting, place of waiting.
And it was. For over 200 years.

1 comment:

Anne Ylvisaker said...

Claudia, this is stunning.

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