Do you have a tree memory? Sitting, as a child, high in its branches, retreating from the world or looking out over the land as far as you could see? Playing at the base of the tree; running around or hiding behind the trunk? Do you have a special tree you think of or visit now?
There are many kinds of trees: a “grandmother” tree which is wonderful to tell stories under; and old oak, so ancient and revered a plaque marks its importance and contribution to history; misty, coastal groves where walks among the majestic trees restore the spirit; and sparse, arid landscapes with indigenous trees offering cool shade and restoration for the journey.
I have a favorite tree; an old and welcoming tree. An ancient oak I could not pass without stopping to admire and remark at its beauty. I took my daughter, then 10 years old, to the oak to share with her this wonderful tree. We measured the circumference of the trunk using our bodies with arms outstretched.
It fell during the winter storms. Pictures of the fallen oak appeared in the paper regularly. People came to gather pieces of branches. People wept. People talked of missing their great oak tree. The newspaper wrote of the death of the Lang Oak and how, after two months, people still mourned the tree. Committees were formed to decide what should be done. The energy expended and emotion expressed reflected the importance of the old oak to individuals and to the community.
Although it fell in the winter storms, I have a favorite tree.