A Tree In Winter

FTLComm - Tisdale - December 21, 1998

This little tree stands at the corner of our deck and supervises breakfasts, lunches, suppers and late night star gazing, for all of the summer months. It is a stoic little tree, not presumptuous or given to a lot of flamboyance, just a sedate little spruce tree that has its place in the world and seems content with the sun it receives and the moisture that nourishes it. This tree is sturdy enough to face the strong winds and sizzling sunlight with courage, for unlike other living things, a tree has to stand there in take what ever comes along. It can't duck behind some obstacle to deflect the harsh elements, it just has to face the storms and from its experience grow on and on so that it will give shelter to other living things.

Winter is particularly difficult as ice and snow burden the tree's little bows and with very low temperatures its normally supple stems can snap like shattered glass if they are brushed or bumped. Perhaps the most important thing about this little tree is that its appearance is never once the same, as a growing living thing, it constantly is changing ever so subtly and amid its dark shadows it provides shelter for bugs of every kind and on its bows a perch for the birds attempting to avoid this yard's nasty black fanged predator, Data the cat.

The little tree is standing there right now unmindful of itself, having no awareness whatever, just its tenacious determination given it to live on, and on, and on. With this snow and cold today it will experience the shortest day of
the year the first day of winter. This little tree does not know that tomorrow the day light will be just a tiny bit longer and so it will each day as we move steadily through winter toward spring when its sap will flow again and growth will once more begin for a new year.