Every Saturday morning at 9am, I rendezvous with a group of fellow 12- Steppers to have an in person meeting by the tennis courts at Washington Park. Today as I was walking towards our spot I saw a group of people getting training to plant trees. When we settled in we looked around and there were probably 15 trees getting ready to be planted by volunteers. I have been sitting here thinking for the last hour and a half about my love of trees.
The first trees I ever saw planted were five fruit trees I referred to in my recent blog called Alexander Circle. Today I witnessed people planting trees for the next generation and those to follow. Planting trees is an act of hope.
I have a friend who, every September, goes out anonymously and plants a tree somewhere on the planet. The idea of people planting trees during a global pandemic is an act of foresight, compassion, generosity, and optimism. In the early 1990’s we planted a few little Aspen trees in front of our home in Alamosa. A couple of months ago we drove by the home just to see how everything was doing. Those aspen trees are now 30 feet tall and thriving in the front yard of the house where we raised our kids.
Some of you who read my blog might remember that just a few months ago I wrote about “Joe” the Blue Spruce, which is now 10 feet tall. In a shameless plug I will invite you to go back and read that blog post and see the picture of how a two inch tree becomes a thriving urban giant. Currently, as I sit here from my perch in my lawn chair in Washington Park, I’m watching four different teams carefully planting trees, just as they were instructed to do a couple of hours ago.
In my nearly 20 years of living in this neighborhood, I saw massive tree destruction come, whether from a wind storm in the summer, or a blizzard in the winter, or late spring snow that came after the leaves were out. I’ve seen many a tree fall, cut up and hauled away but I’m also looking at a Weeping Willow tree that I know has graced this park for generations.
So here’s to trees and those who plant them, whether they be deciduous or conifers. May you live long and give shade. May the birds who sing from your branches or the squirrels who play tag with each other bring joy to all
who pass by. May your shade give rest to picnickers, lovers, and those needing hope.
Onward and upward, Mark