Friday, April 3, 2009

The First Climb of the Year

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.- William Blake, 1799, The Letters

This is the first spring that William is really big enough to climb the maple tree in the front yard (although he has been eyeing it longingly for several years now). As I was standing outside trying not to interfere with his experience (he's still not big enough to be up there without a 'spotter') I began to really appreciate how lucky we are to have something as simple as trees that are part of our daily lives. When I drive through some of the cities nearby, particularly the new subdivisions, I am struck by the lack of trees. If new home owners there are lucky, they may get one newly planted tree on their 30 foot lot, a tree that will certainly not be able to support a child's weight, or provide much shade, for many years to come. What a sad state of affairs that for so many families and because of so many reasons, trees have become a luxury - something of note, that you drive elsewhere see. What a loss not to be able to run your hands over the smooth bark of a Birch tree, to gather pockets full of acorns under the branches of an ancient Oak, or experience the magical transformations of Maple leaves in the fall. What a loss that as a society, trees are seen as things of lower importance than parking lots and Seven-Elevens. What a legacy to leave for our children.

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