Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In the Arms of Love

Trees die a slow death.  It's not really different for a Christmas tree unless it's blessed to still have its roots in a pot.  For the others, after the pain of the ax or saw, they hold on bravely as long as they can.
Hugged by the persimmon, a new friend

We bought a tree from a local lot this year.  It was the first time in several years that we were at home during the holidays.  Getting a tree when we're off visiting family in another part of the country seemed ridiculous.  But this year, our lovies came to stay for Christmas at our house. We wanted the trimmings, the smell, the brilliance of a great, green, majestic tree.  That's what we bought--12 feet tall--a tree that would touch the highest part of our ceiling before it was coronated with its gold star.

So when Christmas was over, New Year's Day passed and the needles started to drop heavily, we knew it was time to lay it to rest.  We have several signs in our neighborhood telling of drop-off-for-a-few-dollars-for-charity services for Christmas trees.  But sending this gentle giant through a shredder wasn't how I wanted its life to end.

A strong, loving, supporting arm

We hauled it out of the house and thrust it into the embrace of our now-bare-since-the-leaves-and-fruit-are-gone persimmon tree.  It will stand (with some assistance--Things I get to do today) close to its supporting friend.  Birds will land on its branches.  The rain with bathe it.  The frost and snow will chill it.  And for a time it can pretend it is still growing in the forest.  As the life leaks out of its trunk, the needles will fall, and branches will turn brittle.  At some point, we'll allow it to shine brilliantly again--in our fire place--probably next Christmas.  And the ashes can go back into the soil, the soul of the tree now nourishing new seeds in its arms of love.

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