a gentle tree
4.7.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

On March 31st I met a lovely tree in a local cemetery and could not stop thinking about her all week. (See the Lady Patience post.) So I plan to visit her as often as possible and get to know her through the seasons. As is often the case with me, I sensed an energy coming from her but did not notice any of her particular physical characteristics.

During the week following our meeting a life-threatening health crisis arose for one of Tim’s brothers, Toby. Brother Josh flew from his home in England to California to collect Toby and fly with him here so he could stay with us and seek treatment. So it’s been a very busy week getting Toby settled in for the indefinite and uncertain future.
Larisa ~ 4.7.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

It is difficult to realize how great a part of all that is cheerful and delightful in the recollections of our own life is associated with trees. … Their shades, which, in the early ages, were the temples of religion and philosophy, are still the favorite resort of the studious, the scene of healthful sport for the active and adventurous, and the very sanctuary of peaceful seclusion for the contemplative and sorrowful.
~ Wilson Flagg
(The Atlantic Monthly, June 1868)

I don’t even know what kind of tree “my” tree is! When she puts out some leaves I will be able to identify her, but I wish I could identify her by her bark.

Larisa came for the weekend to visit her uncles, and when I mentioned my new tree she was happy to pop over with me to see her and to pose for a couple of pictures with her, too. On this trip I noticed the tree’s burls – one very large one near the base of the trunk, and perhaps ten much smaller ones above it and below the first branches. And Larisa noticed the shape of the branches – like check marks they arch up and then down before reaching up again.

The kitties are handling all the extra people in the house pretty well. Zoë is blossoming with friendliness and curiosity. Scarby is still pretty shy and anxious, but she stays where she feels safe under Tim’s bed and I suspect she comes out to eat and use the litter pan once everyone is asleep. We’re giving her all the time and space she seems to need. After all, it’s only been a month since her whole world was turned upside down!

16 thoughts on “a gentle tree”

  1. Oh that is exciting, you have met a tree with spirit! Have you ever watched the Disney movie “Pocahontas”? If you have (I watched it at least one-hundred times when my children were young!) you will be familiar with “Grandmother Willow”. She has some wonderfully animated conversations with Pocahontas throughout the movie. I’ll be looking forward to finding out what type of tree “your” tree is.

    That’s sad news about Tim’s brother and I do hope all will eventually be well with him. Does Tim have six brothers? That’s quite clan of boys. Zoe must be feeling very settled now, she knows she is loved. Give Olga time, she may just be more of a shy personality.

    1. Oh yes, thanks for the reminder, Joanne – I have seen “Pocahontas” and remember being enchanted by Grandmother Willow and her wise advice. Maybe I’ll call my tree Grandmother So-and-so when I find out what kind of tree she is.

      Tim is the first one of six brothers. The last time they were all together was in 2009, but I’ve got half of them under my roof for now. Brother #6 offered to cook dinner for us tonight, so I am enjoying having an afternoon to catch up a little with my blogging friends. 🙂 The smells drifting up here from the kitchen are tantalizing!

      Last night Olga played with Tim a little in the living room while the house was quiet – baby steps. 🙂

  2. That tree looks beautifully pregnant. I look forward to the images through the seasons.

    Hope brother #4 comes through the crisis OK. Wonderful that he has the love and strength of family around him.

    1. That was my thought, too, a pregnant tree! Next time I go I think I will get a close up of the burls.

      Thank you for your well wishes for Brother #4 – waiting for test results is very trying – we’re kind of living life “on hold” for a several more days until we find out what we’re up against…

    1. Thank you, Laurie. We’re so relieved #4 came here and decided not to face this crisis alone so far away in California, and grateful to #6 for fetching him as he was too weak from surgery to fly solo.

  3. Wow its huge! I wonder whether the cemetery folks would be able to tell you how old it is? Not many people go to a cemetery and notice the beautiful trees. That’s why I love reading your posts Barbara!

    I’m sure brother #4 will be getting the best care staying in your home. You and Tim are so kind and thoughtful 🙂

    1. The tree is rather tall, isn’t she? The cemetery doesn’t have an office, at least on the grounds, but I might try to see if they will respond to an email query about the age of the tree. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps the branches were trimmed at some point and then allowed to grow up up again, creating the interesting check mark shape.

      Tim is very protective of his “little” brothers, even though a couple of them are taller than he is!

  4. That is a beautiful tree. I can see why you are enchanted with it. I wonder if it’s an oak?

    I hope Brother #4 is hale and hearty and healthy soon.

    1. Thank you, Robin. Already this tree is teaching me to be more patient – patiently waiting to find out what kind of tree she is and patiently waiting to see how things will go for Brother #4… An oak would be nice!

  5. I’m sorry to hear about Tim’s brother Barbara. He is blessed to be with all of you at this time, a loving family can be such a comfort and a healing gift.

    Your tree is very lovely! It will be nice to see more of her when she grows her new leaves. And the story of Zoe always gives me tingles. They are lucky ladies to have you in their lives 🙂

    1. Thank you, Colleen. I’m hoping to go visit my tree again tomorrow. It’s funny how things turn out sometimes – when we decided to adopt Zoë and Olga we had no idea that Tim’s brother was going to become so ill so suddenly, or need to come stay with us. I was worried about disrupting their lives again so soon, but so far they seem to be doing well enough, all things considered. 🙂

  6. I keep thinking about really adopting a tree and getting to know it on an intimate basis. We are surrounded by trees so sometimes it’s possible to impersonalize the forest. You’re inspiring me to develop a relationship with just one and see what develops. Thank you, Barbara. P.S. What a lot of brothers Tim has! Praying for the best along with you…

    1. Oh Kathy, I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about the tree you hope to adopt! One might call to you in some way – sometimes I think this tree adopted me. 🙂 Thank you for your prayers for Brother #4. There are six brothers all together, counting Tim as #1. Three of them live in Europe and one lives in Florida, so it’s just #1 and #4 here in Connecticut now.

    1. Trees can be so compelling! I’m starting to wonder if this tree will have any birds nesting in it this spring – so far I have not seen any. I especially love your pictures of different kinds of birds when they are perched on tree branches.

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