Monday, November 10, 2008

Grandmother Tree

Picture if you will, the maple tree crowning my favorite hill in Lanark. Vast, ancient, majestic and very gnarly, she is over a hundred feet tall and at least twenty feet in circumference. I have no idea how old she is, but she has resided on the hill overlooking beaver pond #1 for well over a century, and of all the trees on this dear little blue planet, I love her best. There is strength, wisdom, patience and even humor in Grandmother Tree, and she is the finest and dearest of confidants.

There's a perfect sitting place on the west side, and I can often be found there on clear afternoons with my back up against the trunk, just looking up into the magnificent overstory and marveling - I've been known to struggle up the hill on snowshoes in the depths of winter, depression, illness or several feet of snow to visit Grandmother and see how she is faring. She has weathered high winds, lightening, tornadoes and ice storms without number in her long life, but I still worry about her, and whenever I am with Grandmother Tree, I am home.

Why is she here, this particular morning? She is making an appearance because I promised her that a few days ago, and I like to keep my promises to trees. After several years of prowling around and trying to figure out how to fit all of Grandmother into a single photo, I have decided just to share my favorite branch - one which always reminds me of an open, loving and very welcoming arm.

Given her stature and the undulating bones of the steep rocky hill on which she lives, I shall never be able to capture all of Grandmother in a single photo, but this single perfect branch is enough.

11 comments:

Lil said...

i love her through you words cate...

Sorrow said...

Funny, I have been working on a painting of a Grandmother tree...
but I like the arm of gold...

Sky said...

oh, do try to get a full shot, if even at a far distance! i so much want to see all of her. this golden branch is magnificent!

Prairie Star said...

I'm smiling....right before I reach the building where I work, there is an island with 4 trees that have the same beautiful golden color leaves on them (perhaps they are maples too?!). For the past week or so, as I slowly drive by, I've been pulling my car over way close (they're on my driver's side). Sometimes I stop for just a moment in my car and I look up into all of their branches and beauty and sigh.

This practice has been very soothing for me....like being covered and protected by a moma bird's feathers and love.

"My" trees aren't as big as your dear Grandmother (and I'd dearly love to see as much of her as you could get in one pic!), but they are definitely wise and beloved aunts...witnesses, midwives and friends!

Much love, dear one.

pablo said...

You should contribute this post to the Festival of the Trees.

Anonymous said...

Having an affinity for trees is a great comfort. They cannot run away, or dive into the ground, when the going gets rough. They stand where there are placed and, for the most part, weather it all. While standing, they grow tall and their roots sink deep, into the soil and take terrible hold there, so as to grow strong. They are magnificent shape shifters. They remain for us to see and, touch, to lean upon and to speak of our hearts desire. They are still and they listen...they keep your secrets
and share their treasures.

Sandi/Modron

Lisa/Dreamseer said...

She truly is a Giving Tree, isn't she? I sent your page to The Boo, who hugs trees.

Kentishmaid said...

Since my teenage years when I found a comfort and solace seated between the roots of a beech tree trees have been special to me. I completely understand how you feel about your Grandmother tree. May she live long to protect you.

nancybond said...

Her branches look like life-supplying veins, arteries and capillaries under that glowing, golden skin. Beautiful shot of a wonderful tree.

hele said...

She is beautiful. I can feel her magic and warmth all the way over here.

Please send her my heartfelt thanks and respectful regards all the way from the South of Africa.

Anonymous said...

Grandmother tree speaks to my heart.
Thank you for letting me see her branches.
I huggles you.
squirrel