One By One

31 May

There’s this really cool pine tree in my backyard.  18 years ago, it was a normal pine tree.  It grew in the proper direction (ie up), had the right number of trunks (ie one), and seemed unlikely to collapse and take out the back of the house.

17 years ago, it got struck by lightening.

The thing is, the tree didn’t die.  Despite a two foot long blackened fissure down the middle of its trunk, that tree refused to slowly decay into firewood.  I mean, if I were a tree and a bolt of lightening turned me into my own Siamese twin, I’d probably give up growing.  After all, lightening strikes the highest point.  More height would just invite more lightening (that bit about lightening never striking the same place twice?  Totally false).  But this tree is not me (which is good because a tree writing a blog would be really weird), and so the tree kept growing.

17 years later, it’s still growing in the proper direction (ie up), but now it has two separate trunks that twist and turn and generally give the impression that we hired Tim Burton as our arborist (note to self- hire Tim Burton as our arborist).  It still seems unlikely to collapse and take out the back of the house, which is good, since the tree is now tall enough to not only take out the back of the house, but a significant portion of the front of the house as well.

This tree has killed other trees (one of which nearly fell on my brother.  Somewhere there’s a video of that…), grown over two separate hammock-hangings, fought off the ever-encroaching kudzu, hosted countless generations of squirrels, chipmunks, cardinals, blue jays, and woodpeckers, and currently provides shelter for a pair of very noisy owls.  It’s no longer the tallest tree in the yard, but it’s certainly no shrimp at around 50 feet.

It’s a monument to tenacity, this tree.  Despite a major setback, it kept fighting for its right to grow and produce pine cones and slowly be consumed by kudzu like the rest of Georgia’s trees.  It healed itself, and its remaining scars are the most beautiful things in the yard.

The way I see it, if a freakin’ tree can survive a direct lightening strike and continue growing, I ought to be able to survive a few minor setbacks of my own.

So grow on, you magnificent tree.  Rest assured that the city’s chainsaws will never reach you.  I cannot make the same promises re: Tim Burton’s influence.

Not pictured- the top of the tree. I couldn’t fit the whole thing in without climbing onto the roof… which I’m not allowed to do anymore.



5 Responses to “One By One”

  1. tealamangano May 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    That is a pretty cool looking tree. Very Nightmare Before Christmas.

    • Losing My Cents May 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      I love it. It’s right outside my office window, so I can stare at it all day.

  2. elise May 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    it really is a Tim Burton tree. Nice post too.

  3. Xenoia June 1, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Wow what a gorgeous tree. The same thing happened to a lilac tree in my parent’s back garden. Unfortunately though, in our tree’s case, the trunk split down the middle. It survived a few more years until it just tore in two.

    Nice post 🙂

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