The Tree And I


I’ve always loved trees. I can remember as a child a tiny palm tree my Dad planted in our front yard in Pomona California. Many, many years later when my sisters and I had all left home, Dad sold that property and some builder bought and moved that tree which was about 75 feet tall by then, having guarded over us as we all grew up in that California style ranch house, it’s long porch covered in ivy.

My eldest sister planted two peach pits in a pot and they rooted. Not sure if they would do that today with all this GMO nonsense but at that time, they did. They became two huge trees producing some of the loveliest peaches I have ever had. One produced freestone peaches so large my Mom had to slice them to get them into a jar for canning. The other peach tree produced small cling peaches she used to pickle and can. I still love pickled peached to this day. Can’t find them anywhere. Guess I’ll have to can my own. It’s not going to happen.

A few months ago, we had to have a gorgeous, majestic “monkey puzzle” tree cut down in our front yard. It was one of three left in town and was about 80 feet tall. Its history began in South America where one of our founding fathers brought it by ship to our ancient little town. It caught a virus and had to be chopped down. It was a sad event in our lives as well as others in the community who also miss it. Unfortunately, we tried to save it but without success and believed it was the wise thing to do rather than having it fall on our house. Oh, I hate decisions like that and out of respect, did mourn that fabulous tree. It was probably planted in the late 1800’s when our home was built.

Christmas trees have always held a soft spot in my heart from my early childhood when my Dad insisted a tree wasn’t decorated until it had about 5000 aluminum foil icicles dripping from its branches. Occasionally I have shared some of my Christmas tree stories with you and I have many because my dear spouse and I could never agree on the size of a tree at the tree farm. He always worried about scratching the car to get it home and feared I would pick a giant Sequoia that would touch our fourteen-foot ceilings. He was just kidding about the Sequoia part but I do love a large tree. If my husband ever develops a hernia; it’s my fault. I loved the years I owned a special little blue Mustang convertible and we just popped the top down to get the annual tree home from the tree farm. It disappoints me to have to admit we are now, in our somewhat advanced years, using a small artificial tree but the rest of the house is also festooned with tiny trees, Santa’s and angels.

We, of course, have trees all over this beautiful state of Oregon where we’ve lived these last 21 years. We also have a view of many more gorgeous majestic forests just across the Columbia River in Washington state. I don’t know what it is about a tree, their intricate design is such an awesome example of God’s handiwork, and as such seems to demand respect and awe.

I have sometimes pondered how very like trees we humans can be. Please let me share with you those thoughts in this poem. Enjoy.





I was once a sapling

No, I didn’t say a sap;

Brightly new, tenderly green

Like a gift without it’s wrap.


Straight and true all day

Leaning toward the sun

Always back to upright,

When each day was done.


Like all things fresh and young

Feared no disease or age,

Except to eagerly accept

Each birthday’s turning page


I took it all for granted

As if it would always be,

Until a storm with winds

Grasped and tore at me.


Roots long undisturbed

Came from the family tree,

Twisting and hurting

Treating me like mere debris.


I began to feel each slash

Each branch began to sway

My bark once protective and thick

Began to fall away.


I thought I deserved much more

Apparently life did not.

Brains, accomplishments and beauty

Obviously, all for naught.


Nature, once my friend,

Placed roots, holes in my path

Every act or duty, for me,

Now held much aftermath.


I looked upward at the blue

And shouted, “Life can’t be this hard!

Then along would come another storm

Leaving me more battle scarred.


“This isn’t what I had in mind,”

I grieved each falling leaf,

As each animal in the forest

Came by to take relief.


“Now look, I’m tired of this,

I can’t take much more,”

I wailed into the wind

Knew not whom to implore.


Then a soft voice blew into me

And said, “I hear you tree,

Do you think I don’t have care?

To listen to your plea?


“I’ve heard every leaf you dropped,

Every flake of bark you’ve lost;

I saw the creatures relieve themselves

For we all pay the cost.


“Because you are a part of this

Life’s not springtime and buds,

It’s also blazing sun, icy winds

And cold harsh winter floods.


“You trees all think you’re special

And in your way, you are

But that doesn’t mean exemptions,

You each get to be bizarre.


“Don’t the birds still rest upon you,

Their song reverberating your core?

Don’t wildflowers bloom in your shade,

Ferns, trusting you with their spore?


I know your concern for changes,

The ones you’ve had to endure

But you need to recall, you silly stick

This life is just the overture.


“You’re no longer straight and tall,

You’ve begun to bend and break,

But you are a creature of mine

Which means you’re no mistake.


“I will always be here

And you can trust in me.

You just have to let it go;

Become a leaning tree.”


Sue Falkner-Wood











20 thoughts on “The Tree And I

  1. I too have always loved trees….the taller the better.
    I don’t know either why I do but the noise they make in the wind ,the change of them in the seasons. There’s something calming about them
    However I think I’m more nearly going horizontal more than leaning ….need the wind to change another way ….
    How good it must be to be able to hear the trees blowing in the wind going to sleep
    Hope things better for all this week

    • Chris, so how are those hips behaving? Sounds like you are lying down more and more, and I sure hope it helps you.
      Yes, nature has so many soothing lessons for us although right now it’s being pretty scary in the eastern USA. Are there a lot of trees near where you live? Hope your DH is improving in all ways although I know all too well how difficult it is as we age with so many health issues. Same here with us. Trust your heatwave has passed.
      Our youngest grandson just turned 16 and got his drivers license this week so he is happier than usual. Good to hear from you, Love, Sue

  2. Hips not so good sue had to stop the anti inflammatory meds due to the diver reacting
    So just on ice now
    Have to be careful as dh goes to have his bottom eyelids done Thursday and I will have to drive and make sure I’m ok to look after him
    So your grandsons world has expanded now with driving well done for passing first time there
    We are having lovely weather at the moment so we are getting out before the op as he will no doubt be swollen and bruised..don’t want to inflict him on anyone!
    We have quite a forest of trees near but not near enough I would like to hear them when windy with the window open .i know the weather is bad along your east just seems to get worse each year…let’s hope it calms down as well as blows away to the sea
    Inr test tomorrow for dh to make sure the level is good for the op.
    Hi Lyn
    How’s your dh,s ears after he saw the dr

    • Chris dear, sorry about the pain and problems in the hips. I get a lot more comfort and healing from heat. Have you tried it or at least alternated it with the ice? So DH is finally having his surgery to get rid of that rubbing of the eyelashes against his eyes? I know it will be swollen for awhile and know you’ll be there for him. Extra prayers for this current situation for you two. Has his INR been running at a good rate? Definitely wouldn’t want any extra bleeding but I know they will be cautious. You know Jim still has to have ethe INR tests because he is on coumadin but I do not because the doctor put me on Xarelto. It’s just over a $100 each mo. Terrible, huh?
      I know you probably won’t do this but I would love to see you try the rub on hemp oil for your hip pain. It really works wonderfully, just roll it on. Thinking of you even when I don’t get right back. FB very busy for me as well as having this altered lifestyle. Gotta go carry a jug out to the porch and water all my beautiful flowers…several trips so not too heavy for me or I’d be sorry all night long. Love ya, Sue

  3. I also love trees. Houston has as many as Seattle. Which was a surprise to me. I’m a little out of it these days. My blood pressure was going high my dr added a new med that really knocked it back down. So am dizzy and feeling exhausted. I know it will pass, but right now it is just one more thing. This getting old can be trial, but it beats the alternative.

    I want to say I love you and all the people on this blog. My son and DIL are wonderful to me, but I lost so many friends when I moved. You people keep me connected to the real world, thank you for that. Love to all, Janet

    • Dear Janet, good to hear from you as always. Just give that new blood pressure med some time and if it still bothers you, call the doc, okay? There are many meds out there and you don’t need more trouble on top of those you have. I truly understand your loneliness. I don’t have many local friends. I too have my DD and her family, as you know my son lives in TX. I had lived in Visalia, CA for many years and when we moved here 20 years ago it was a hard adjustment and I could get around better than I can now. So isolating this disease and pain lifestyle. I value your friendship and have for several years now. When I hear people criticizing FB and the internet I am defensive because it is my lifeline in many ways. You see…you and hundreds of others keep me connected, also.
      I am currently having edema in my feet and had to start on Lasix. Tomorrow I have to do a 24 hour urine collection. I hate the inconvenience of that. They are trying to check on my kidneys(oncology) and heart with the med. YUK. Always something as our bodies are practically tied together with string these days, huh?
      The 24 hour urine collection reminds me of a funny incident that happened to me many years ago while still practicing nursing. We told an elderly gent from Vietnam that he had to do a 24 hour urine. We explained but I guess not well enough. His English was bad and he kept coming back for more containers. Finally we figured out his whole family, kids and all were saving their urine in the same jug. Laugh when I remember that and it was years ago.
      Now my dear friend, please take care and if you end up hating the side effects, be sure to tell the doc. Much love and added prayers today, Sue

      • Whenever I start a
        new BP med there are several weeks of adjustment
        to the lowered BP. You’ re extremely tired and the brain really doesn’t work right.
        I see a kidney specialist every 3 months so very familiar with the 24 hour test , it goes by fast.
        The lasix is another thing entirely. I’ve been on it for over 20 years and will never get used to it.
        When you combine it with incontinence it is a daily nightmare. Sorry to be so negative but it is a sore point.
        As always you are in my prayers. Love you, Janet

  4. Well. I do love the forests and all the trees around me. However, high wind storms have reeked havoc on us of late. My son and a friend came up this weekend to deal with some of it in Judy’s yard. I, of course, did too much and have been trying to rest today. Still a lot more to finish, and lots of brush to burn later.
    Now, the trees here are beginning their change for fall. Won’t be long, heard geese this morning.
    Chris, hope all goes well with the surgery and better with your hip. Sue, have fun with your 24 hour urine, lol. I would have to have a 5 gallon pail these days. I remember doing mine in college, not fun. But better than analyzing it.
    Well, must go lock up the chicks and unlock Red. Had to put him back on feed, too skinny.
    Janet, we love you too my friend. Always here if you need a chat !

  5. Tonie, Geese? How wonderful. I’ll have to start looking skyward now out here, too. Glad Judy’s fallen tree is taken care of but sure you overdid with so much to do and I know your son doesn’t really understand how much pain you have. Hope you can sleep well tonight my dear friend. Love you much, Sue

    • Alison/rosetint, I am sorry you found the poem sad but I also find it interesting that you do. Poetry is interesting in that if the writer, me in this case, leaves so many thoughts to one’s imagination, the reader draws their own conclusions based on their own place in life at the time they read it. Wouldn’t you agree? Life can certainly be a bit melancholy from time to time without swinging too far into joy or sadness. Hope life is still brighter for you. Love, Sue

      • Im so much stronger and better now Sue, still have odd bad moments and days but they are so much less and im definitely not complaining as much. Yes poetry reaches everyone in different ways. Im reading a lot of Emily Dickinson at the moment and loving her poetry.

  6. Well it seems ice is the best for me…..strange it was for my other hip too
    Dh inr is steady running at 2.2
    They were talking about these other thinning drugs for Dh do you have any effects from them at all?
    As you said I’m not sure about the hemp oil perhaps I should try it
    My physio came thru for next week so that could be a good time to start it…..but maybe not with having to be looking out for dh

    • Chris, I was just talking a rub on oil or creme of hemp oil, not taking it internally so it either would make you feel better and less pain or it wouldn’t. There are no systemic effects from rub on. Perhaps, with steroid cremes they can get into the system if one uses too much all the time.
      Glad DH can go ahead with his eye surgery now with his INR at a good level. No,, I haven’t had any side effects from the thinner I take except the headache when we have to pay for it..ha, ha.
      Late here so won’t get chatty tonight, do take care my dear. Love ya, Sue

  7. Janet, I know Chris’s DH has had trouble with meds, I think the ones for blood pressure, some folks do. I haven’t noticed the lasix having much effect on my puffy feet or anything else. I think for us older gals, extra peeing is part of the package. I hope you have some ways to perk up and bring joy into your life on those down days. I’m reading a series of books right now that have kept me pretty absorbed about WW11. I like books about that era, especially if they are a novel based on some true history. Do you eyes allow you to read with a Kindle or one of those so you can enlarge the lettering. I’m afraid I have to since one of my arthritis drugs hurt my sight. Good old Plaquenil. So many drugs that have good and bad effects; most of them in fact. Love to you tonight and always, Sue

    • Marilyn, Pleased you enjoy my words. Awe yes, a lot of who and what we like does begin so early in life, doesn’t it? Good to hear from you, do take care now. Sue

  8. Alison/rosetint, so pleased to hear life is better for you at this time. Emily DIckinson, so very classic to have last through the ages. Love, Sue

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