Scribbles and Trees

With the about page written I guess I should get at least one real post completed.

According to my Mom “squibbles” is a word my brother used as a child. He meant squirrels. I use it as a reference to scribbled notes and sketches on napkins, paper bags, etc. Most ideas, good and bad alike, get scribbled down as quickly as possible so as not to lose them. I’ve been known to draw on my hand for lack of a napkin.

I’m also known to have wasted my share of paper writing down lists of things I want to do, get, have, buy, keep, get rid of, share, send, draw…

I’ve used my share of trees improperly and am paying my dues with a pang of guilt.

I woke up yesterday and heard the Japanese word “Sensay”. I know I’m probably not spelling it right but writing from this quirky little cell phone in a timely fashion doesn’t permit me checking for errors with spellcheck, google, or whatever else is available.

Anyway, the word meaning teacher/mentor hit me with a serious reflective moment. Trees have always been something I lean on, and admire. The seasonal changes, natural order and abundance of lessons make trees my teachers. They line the street where I live. And when I look back on my life trees have always had an particular impact on my wellbeing.

My childhood memories are filled with happy minutes picking up Magnolia leaves for my grandfather, eating Pommegranites half naked on the back steps, and hiding from a neighbor boy beneath a young see through Weeping Willow. I remember dancing circles around a Walnut tree pretending I was a gypsy wrapped in my mother’s pink square-dancing skirt as an eight year old and climbing to retrieve my son’s kite at twenty-eight.

Trees have brought me through my grief.

Silent and strong poetic beings that reached out to me with their branches, changing colors, leaves drifting off with the wind.

Trees contain the mysterious etchings across a moonlit night. They enhance a youthful love shared by holding a tangible memory of carved initials. And when I see a fallen tree I crumble inside just a little more than the average person.

These trees are my teachers. My life’s markers and mentors. So I think it’s fairly smart of me to accept that the Original Garden had its variety of trees plus one. I can easily imagine Adam and Eve walking with God between the lushness of creation and God saying “This is good.”

***
I was sharing a memory yesterday with a friend about my father’s reaction after reading what I thought was one of the best poems I had ever written at that time. A poem about dead birds and non existent trees. A poem that dissapeared long ago.

When my Father had finished reading it he silently handed the carefully scribbled pages back to me. I waited for his applause. He frowned then asked me why I had written such depressing mumbo. I never showed him another. And this was the man that turned me onto Longfellow and Keats? In short this was an important chapter in my life. Like a three minute tornado ripping across the land. You never forget.

Trees and Squirrels go together. It took me fifty-five years to figure this out.

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