Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Tale of Trees...and Christmas

Our holiday story begins with a powerful, ancient tree. Her name was Smiley.

She was an old tree---well over 100 years. She was stately and regal.

In the summer months, Smiley shaded a family home under her leafy green umbrella. Cars travelled the street she flanked, canopied beneath her beautiful branches. Her exterior markings---her "barkings"---seemed sculpted as if to cast a smile toward those strolling the sidewalk and beam into the windows of the house below.

Each year, in the fall, Smiley shed her vast quantities of leaves...supplying plentiful piles for two pairs of jumping feet. The little boy who lived in the house would often erupt with glee seeing the swirling, airborne colors---flying patterns foreshadowing the winter ahead.

Now Smiley was strong, but not immune to incident. In the 14 years the family lived in the happy home she covered, Smiley dropped branches weighty enough to break not one, but two, windshields. One impressive and thoroughly sodden branch totaled a 2002 Honda Odyssey. Still the family---the neighborhood---loved Smiley. To this day, the family believes Smiley loved them.

So great her love, in late August, when hurricane rains fell and strong winds blew, Smiley invited herself into the house.

Surely she had no idea her intrusion would require the family to leave. Nor could she have realized she'd be shorn of her stunning, leaf-laden branches, be extracted from the home she loved, and have her stump removed from the plot it had inhabited for a life rich in ring acquisition.

The family moved to a nearby home. One---by intentional decision---without so prestigious a pin oak casting a shadow.

Autumn came and went; winter began.

In keeping with tradition, the family purchased another tree separated from its roots, and welcomed it into their home for the holiday season.

Alas, the adornments annually pulled from attic-stored boxes were now sequestered in a restoration/salvage locale for evaluation.

Then, Christmas magic began.

Friends, intuitively aware of the new tree's nakedness, thoughtfully collected and provided ornamentation...for not only the tree, but its new home.

One friend, knowing the lack of history in the relocation home, lovingly hand-constructed a tree resplendent with miniature books---texts read with dear friends over the preceding decade.

Family, always seeking to help, created opportunity for new, precious, child-created treasures to adorn the tree.

New neighbors, unknowing, provided a luminous tree across the street---a tree smiling brightly into the winter window of the temporarily displaced---but Christmas miracle cognizant---family.

Blessings via branches.

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Rebecca said...

I still can't believe that happened!

Unknown said...

wow! What beautiful gifts for friends to help decorate your holidays!!! What a blessing!

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

I loved reading this - so thoughtfully written. It reminded me of the children's book - Our Tree Named Steve. What a neat book tree too! Amazing! Merry Christmas to you guys! :)

Tracey said...

Tree theme for sure. Yours is much more poetic and touching story. So glad it feels like Christmas over there. Love to all of you this holiday season and always!!

Terra said...

and the christmas spirit prevails no matter where you have your tree....